MANDEVILLE, La. - There were no explanations Thursday morning from two Mr. Move employees arrested for extortion and unauthorized use of a movable, two days after their boss and Mr. Move's owner, Dunwoodie McDuffie, was booked for the same crimes.
The arrests stem from a claim by a Mandeville woman that the Metairie-based company held her property hostage unless she paid a higher price than was agreed. A search and seizure of the Mr. Move offices Monday led to the return of her belongings, and an
Eyewitness News exclusive on that operation has led to dozens of new, but similar claims against Mr. Move. Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta isn't surprised at all.
“We have had problems that have existed with, sort of an association of people that are either family members or close friends and operate sort of in the shadows of the law where sometimes they're within the jurisdiction and sometimes they're outside of it," he said.
The commissioner also says it's probable that this situation extends beyond just this one business.
"Our goal now is to try to put an end to sort of the bad behavior that exists in the industry," said Skrmetta.
So the Public Service Commission is reworking its regulations of moving companies right now to close the gaps Skrmetta says some have been sneaking around.
"If the commission can expand its jurisdiction to be sort of air-tight on anyone in the industry, who basically will have to register and operate within the price schedules that we establish, that's one thing,” he said, “The other thing is the commission needs to be able to expand its police powers to where we can act more effectively on the ground with local law enforcement."
Skrmetta says the PSC will be handling licensing and regulatory issues stemming from this possibly improper activity, which could include fines.
If you'd like to report a bad experience with Mr. Move, you're encouraged to contact your local law enforcement, the State Attorney General's Office, the Better Business Bureau and the Public Service Commissioner for your area.