The leader of a parking company that operates private lots in Portland was arrested in South Carolina early Tuesday and charged with driving under the influence.

Daniel McNutt Photo courtesy of Charleston County, N.C., Sheriff’s Office

Daniel McNutt, 41, was booked at Charleston County Jail on one count of DUI at 3:08 a.m. Tuesday, according to records posted online by the Charleston County Jail.

McNutt’s next court date is in August, and a staffer at the jail said he was expected to be released Tuesday evening. His bond was set at $992, according to the online jail records.

McNutt was the CEO of Unified Parking Partners in 2016, but it appears that he has joined forces since then with the leader of a Philadelphia parking company, Parkway, run by Robert Zuritsky, who was named as a co-manager of Unified Parking Partners in a May 10 filing with the Maine Secretary of State’s office.

McNutt has reincorporated his business under a new LLC, UPP Global, has teamed up with the Philadelphia parking magnate, and the two appear to have expanded operations to Florida. UPP Global, in the state filing, lists its Maine business address as 496 Congress St., Suite 3, in Portland.

Asher Chappell, a managing partner with Unified Parking Partners in Portland, said in a phone interview Tuesday night that he was unaware of McNutt’s arrest. He also declined to provide additional information regarding McNutt’s role with the company.

Attempts to reach McNutt on his cellphone were unsuccessful. It was unclear why McNutt was in South Carolina.

Unified Parking Partners came under fire in April after the company, which manages the privately owned Ocean Gateway garage, gave 20 Casco Bay Island residents notices that they would have to surrender their parking spaces in the garage.

The city of Portland intervened when Unified Parking Partners blamed the city for the evictions. The parking spaces were restored and City Manager Jon Jennings denied the city had anything to do with the evictions and called the company’s claim “cowardly.”

City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said Tuesday night that although Unified Parking Partners does manage numerous parking lots in downtown Portland, the company does not have a contract with Portland to operate any city-owned lots or garages. She said the city would have no comment on McNutt’s arrest.

This is not the first time McNutt has been arrested. In 2016, Portland police arrested McNutt for possession of cocaine after officers found him in one of his own parking lots on Congress Street next to City Hall.

According to criminal history records obtained from the state, McNutt pleaded guilty to the 2016 possession charges and was fined $400.

McNutt’s company operates thousands of high-demand privately owned parking spaces in and around downtown Portland. The company has drawn criticism for its practice of booting customers who run past their allotted time and then charging an additional fee to release the vehicles.

In 2015, McNutt wrote an opinion piece defending his company’s parking enforcement tactics.

In that piece, McNutt wrote that Unified Parking Partners was a business and if it is not paid a fair price for the service it provides it would go out of business. He said enforcement is a necessary part of any parking business.

McNutt owns a house in Falmouth. His company first began doing business in Portland in 2014, and quickly grew to control dozens of parking lots in high-traffic areas.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed to this report.

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