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DeKalb County trucking company responds to tollway allegations

Published: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

HINCKLEY – The owner of a trucking company recently listed as owing the second most unpaid tolls and fines in Illinois says he’s working to pay the tolls but disputes the associated fines.

Steve’s Underdog Trucking, a Hinckley-based company that hauls sand, gravel and mulch, is in court with the Illinois Tollway over $192,742 that the agency claims it is owed in unpaid tolls and fines. Now the company’s president, Steven Navalany says the agency’s claims could put it out of business.

“I have only been running between one and four trucks during the time I have allegedly become a top tollway violator,” Navalany said in a letter to the Daily Chronicle. “In my mind that is impossible.”

Multiple calls to the Illinois Tollway were not returned.

In August, Illinois Tollway leaders released a “wall of shame” list of the state’s top 157 commercial tollway offenders, who the tollway says owe a combined $3.7 million in unpaid tolls and fines.

Four DeKalb County companies made the list. Among them, only Steve’s Underdog Trucking is still in business, but it ranked second in the state, according to the agency.

The tollway’s court case against the trucking company opened in January in DuPage County. The case has been continued each of its past three status dates and is next due in court Thursday.

Lynn Navalany, the mother of Steven Navalany and an employee of the company, says the company uses I-Pass transponders in its trucks, but that it can’t be sure how the tolls went unpaid. She said the company would be happy to pay just the tolls.

“I went to court and spoke with the lawyer there and she said, ‘Call me, we can work it out,’ and I’ve called and called,” Lynn Navalany said. “We’re trying to get it taken care of. We’ll pay the toll part.”

According to the Illinois Tollway’s website, unpaid tolls can mean up to $70 in fines if left unpaid, but fines and fees can be assessed for a variety of other reasons, from incorrect I-Pass mounting to I-Pass suspension.

Steve’s Underdog Trucking has been in business since 2009.

“I want to stay in business, but these allegations are threatening to shut me down,” Steven Navalany wrote “I hope that with this unfortunate publicity I did not seek, may come a resolution that allows me to pay my fair share of tolls and stay in business.”

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