Search is on for felonious cabbies |

Search is on for felonious cabbies

Michael Schneider

If you’re a cab driver in this city and have been convicted of a felony, it may be time to seek greener pastures.

Disturbed that South Shore taxi drivers could be convicted felons, the South Lake Tahoe City Council voted to give the police department the power to find the felons and remove them from their cabs.

The amending ordinance still must pass a second reading Nov. 17. If passed again, it will take effect Dec. 17.

Council members were upset to find there was no screening for felonies when cabbies are hired in the city and explored options regarding emergency action.

“If there is a felon operating a cab, I want him off the street tonight,” council member Tom Davis said.

City Attorney Catherine DiCamillo said there was no way to pass the ordinance without two readings and the passing of the required 30-day time period after the second reading.

Council member Margo Osti and Davis, who served on the subcommittee looking into the ordinance amendments, said they thought there were already provisions in the existing ordinance to inhibit the hiring of felons.

Rich McGuffin, community services commander for the police department, told the council there is no existing provision for screening felonious cabbies.

“As soon as the council establishes a law, we will enforce it,” McGuffin said.

Representatives from three South Lake Tahoe cab companies addressed the council, telling members it was likely there were convicted felons driving cabs in the city.

Among other changes, the ordinance amendment would impose a stringent fine structure on those who operate cabs without the proper licensing, another area taxi company operators said was a problem in the city.

Illegal cab operators would be charged $250 for the first offense, $500 for a second and $1,000 for three-time violators.

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