Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Raoul turns up the heat on bus company
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Raoul turns up the heat on bus company

Friday, Apr 19, 2019

* Ten days ago

Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced a consent decree with a transportation company that requires it to end its practice of discriminating and harassing customers and their families. The consent decree resolves a lawsuit the Attorney General’s office filed in 2018 against Suburban Express, Inc. and owner Dennis Toeppen.

The consent decree was entered today by Judge Andrea Wood in the Northern District of Illinois to resolve allegations that Toeppen and Suburban Express discriminated against customers on the basis of race, national origin and religion; harassed customers with public shame and ridicule; and intentionally compromised customers’ personal information. Suburban Express is a company that provides bus services to students at colleges and universities in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana to the suburban Chicago area and Chicago airports.

The Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit against Suburban Express and Dennis Toeppen alleging the defendants engaged in discrimination against customers, including a December 2017 mass-marketing email to customers that touted bus rides with, “Passengers like you. You won’t feel like you’re in China when you’re on our buses.” The lawsuit also alleged Suburban Express encouraged its employees to avoid certain students who appear not to speak English when distributing coupons for bus services. According to the lawsuit, Toeppen even posted an online video mocking Asian students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The consent decree is here.

* Two days ago

A statement on the company’s Facebook page continued to dispute the claims of the lawsuit and said the terms of the consent decree imposed “some minor requirements” on the company.

“Madigan’s lawsuit contained numerous false, unproven, unproveable (sic) and legally inconsequential allegations,” the statement said. “Suburban Express felt that it was being extorted by the state, but chose a $100k payment to state rather than spending $250k-$500k defeating the lawsuit.” […]

Suburban Express’ statement also asserted that Raoul’s office mischaracterized the agreement and said it’s considering its own legal action against Raoul and a top deputy.

“Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s press release on the matter is false and defamatory in the extreme, in that it claims his office proved the various false and unproven allegations,” the statement said.

…Adding… From the company’s website

We speak English only. If you are not fluent in English, please have someone who is fluent in English assist you with your travel plans and purchase.

Suburban Express is required to display the below paragraph by a recent agreement with hypocritcal, extortionist Illinois politician Kwame Raoul. Thinking of opening a business in IL? Think again. High taxes and opportunistic, parasitic governement [sic] place a high burden on job creators in Illinois. Note that we have never engaged in any discriminatory conduct. Rather, this is a big show foisted upon us in order to ingratiate certain voters to elected officials.

* Also Wednesday

Suburban Express and owner Dennis Toeppen have allegedly violated a consent decree reached last week with the Illinois attorney general.

According to a motion filed Wednesday morning by the AG seeking a $10,000 fine, Suburban Express posted defamatory webpages of customers and failed to post a nondiscrimination statement everywhere it was required to.

Toeppen has also brought back his notorious “Page of Shame,” which includes phone numbers, email addresses and home addresses of customers he says had dishonored payments, were “fare cheaters” or have been banned from Suburban Express.

“The Consent Decree requires Defendants ‘not to penalize customers based solely on online comments about any Defendant, including reviews,’” Assistant Attorney General Jeff VanDam wrote. “Defendants flouted this requirement immediately after entry of the Consent Decree by posting a defamatory web page that penalizes a customer through viciously attacking the customer solely for online comments about Suburban Express.”

The web page includes screenshots of that customer’s Yelp reviews of Suburban Express, links to the Google Maps page for what Toeppen says is her childhood home and links to her LinkedIn page. It also criticizes her mental health.

* Yesterday

The company also allegedly attacked a person of “Asian origin” by labeling them an “insane … spoiled child” and saying the individual reminds them of a prominent Asian-American who advocates against discrimination, adding that readers should Google that activist “for a good laugh.” […]

Reached via email Thursday, Toeppen claimed he was on vacation in the days after the consent decree was signed and stated he believed he had 30 days to “cure any breach” of the agreement, “whether intentional or accidental.”

Toeppen also took issue with the “refunds” outlined in the decree, stating that term never appears in the agreement. Instead, he says his company internally is referring to payments resulting from the decree as “Vote Purchase Payments” and “Beer Money for Suburbanites.”

The term “refunds” isn’t in the agreement, but this is

The time period for customers to seek payments under this Consent Decree shall commence on the Effective Date and shall end 180 days after the Effective Date.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments
  1. - downstateR - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:03 am:

    Wow (bottom of page)

    http://www.suburbanexpress.com/indexuiuc.html


  2. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    Good for the AG. The only reason this company manages to stay in business is because thousands of new students arrive on the campuses they serve every year, and they and their parents don’t know any better.


  3. - Anon E Moose - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    This guy sounds like a real peach.


  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:17 am:

    Selling point on the website:

    –Virtually all of our customers are college students. Virtually no “townies”.–

    What about Chinese townies? Are they on double-secret probation?

    Perhaps the Eastern bloc will propose building a wall around China — but a real good one this time.

    Not only is this guy a racial bigot, but he apparently believes he’s superior to the C-U hoi polloi as well.

    I’m always at a loss as to how those so obviously thick-headed like Toeppen got the idea they were superior to anyone. Did their mamas tell them that?


  5. - illinikid - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    And check out this one at the bottom of his other company’s page, http://www.illinishuttle.com

    We speak English only. If you are not fluent in English, please have someone who is fluent in English assist you with your travel plans and purchase.

    That and the video that he posted of himself walking though the Illinois Street Resident Hall mocking Asian students tells you all you need to know about this looser.


  6. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    Suburban Express’ statement also asserted that Raoul’s office mischaracterized the agreement and said it’s considering its own legal action against Raoul and a top deputy.

    Raoul wishes they would?


  7. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:36 am:

    Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be… racists?

    I doubt this will continue to be a productive business model…a little time will tell?


  8. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    The Bumptious Bus Line, the Clueless Coach, The Oblivious Express


  9. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    Sounds like one heckuva company. These are the sorts of companies that should be hounded until they are forced to go out of business.


  10. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Maybe UofI could prohibit them from campus somehow or prevent them from advertising or handing out fliers
    Wonder if he would let the Chief ride in his bus


  11. - lakeside - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    Wild to think that no one *made* him go into the customer service industry.


  12. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 11:58 am:

    DuPage Saint — UIUC already has. The administration issued a statement condemning their practices and banning them from posting ads and picking up or dropping off passengers on campus property. That doesn’t prevent them from operating on public streets and sidewalks on campus though.


  13. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 12:03 pm:

    I know a very pale teenaged boy who has been taking Mandarin for a clue of years now. I may see if he’s up for a trip to Urbana.


  14. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 12:04 pm:

    I hate autocorrect. Couple of years.


  15. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    Apparently the bigotry goes toward religion as well:

    The suit also said company owner Dennis Toeppen posted a video that mocked U. of I. Asian students and banned customers with billing addresses in Chicago suburbs where there are sizable Jewish populations.


  16. - PublicServant - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    Once the word on this goof gets out at UIUC, this company is toast.


  17. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    PublicServant - That’s the trouble. Word doesn’t get out. As I noted above the campuses turn over so much that thousands of uninformed students hit them every year. This company has been around approx 30 years. There is competition from other bus lines and Amtrak, but options are limited.


  18. - a drop in - Friday, Apr 19, 19 @ 12:48 pm:

    “That doesn’t prevent them from operating on public streets and sidewalks on campus though”

    Sounds like great places for meetings of the Chinese Students Association. /s


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Sherri Garrett responds to Hickey report
* Hickey wants Madigan to be more available to employees
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Mapes responds to Hickey report: "It is my position that the recent criticisms made against me do not truly appreciate the size of the responsibility of my position"
* Fun with numbers
* "Bank On" initiative signed into law
* AG attempts to dismiss lawsuit against gun dealer regulations
* Pritzker, Lightfoot launch new campaign committees
* Planned Parenthood loses federal funding for contraception, cancer screening and STD tests
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Hickey report released
* Sandoval issues another statement, but not another apology
* Pritzker's Chicago office gets a facelift
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Lightfoot wants state approval for city tax hikes
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller