BANGOR, Maine — A friend of suspended used car dealer Glenn Geiser Jr. has been issued a license to sell cars at the same site on Washington Street where he formerly sold cars, a state official said Thursday.
Gwendolyn Reddy, who lives at a Brewer home owned by Geiser, said earlier this month that she was shelving her plans to open her new business, Bangor Car Solutions at 180 Washington St., which she advertised and described as a service station.
“We’re just doing service and detailing — everything from fixing an engine to brake jobs and oil changes,” she said earlier this month while standing in the parking lot shortly after exiting a vehicle driven by Geiser. “And we’re cleaning cars.”
Cars will not be sold there, she said.
However, when the city issued Reddy her occupancy permit May 2, it listed car sales. A check with the Maine secretary of state at that time showed Reddy had applied for a used car dealership license that was pending.
“Her paperwork was sent back for amending and resubmittal, so in essence, [it is] ‘still pending.’” Deputy Secretary of State Patty A. Morneault said in a May 8 email. “We are waiting on her to resubmit.”
Reddy submitted the needed paperwork to the state Wednesday.
“We have approved her application as of yesterday, as a used car dealer under the business name of Bangor Auto Solutions,” Morneault said in a Thursday email.
In the parking lot, there are about 19 vehicles not inspected.
Geiser, 48, owns the My Maine Ride and former Bumper2Bumper dealerships in Bangor, and managed the former Bangor Car Care dealership, which was owned by his mother.
A vehicle purchased from My Maine Ride in August 2013 that had an inspection sticker but was deemed defective by Maine State Police investigators led to suspensions and charges against Geiser.
The state police investigation led Attorney General Janet Mills to sue Geiser in February for unfair and deceptive trade practices in connection with his promotion and sale of used cars, some that did not pass inspection.
“They have an opinion of the business model. We have a different opinion,” Geiser said of the lawsuit. “That is just a civil matter. That could go on for years. It’s not something I’m losing sleep over.”
My Maine Ride targeted consumers with poor credit who needed financing, pressured them to buy cars that were not roadworthy and did not respond to customer complaints, according to a release issued by Mills’ office.
The consumer protection division of the attorney general’s office has been hearing complaints about Geiser’s businesses for years. The office received 86 complaints in the last year about My Maine Ride, 159 complaints about Bumper2Bumper since 2011, and 539 complaints about Bangor Car Care since 2003.
The state is seeking civil penalties, which could run as high as $10,000 for each violation; a permanent injunction to bar Geiser and any entity in which he has an ownership interest from promoting, selling and/or financing used cars; and reimbursement of the cost of the litigation, including attorney and expert witness fees.
“These kinds of practices give Maine businesses a bad name,” Mills said at the time the lawsuit was filed.
My Maine Ride was shut down in March for six months after Geiser was charged with issuing counterfeit inspection stickers, for which he entered a no contest plea in court in February and received a $7,000 fine, and his license to sell vehicles was suspended.
A message left for Reddy at the new business location Thursday was returned by Geiser.
“She is in total fear of what she deems to be terrorist activities,” Geiser said, referring to the Bangor Daily News stories tracking the progress of the business. “She’s conflicted on whether to open or not.”