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City Details Legal Violations by Cab Company
By Bill Hughes
PADUCAH, KY - Details are emerging on why the city of Paducah recently notified Chi'z Cabz that their business license has been suspended for thirty days.

In city documents obtained Tuesday through an open records request, a letter to owner Nicole Doran from the city's attorney dated February 5 says, "Chi'z Cabz has engaged in a consistent pattern of conduct which is violative of Section 122-40 of the Paducah City Ordinances."

In a Paducah Police Department memorandum, eight incidents were listed where police cited or arrested someone with the company for at least one violation during a six-month period dating back to June 2017. On six occasions the cab driver did not have a taxicab driver's license, and on two occasions the same driver was arrested for having a suspended license. Another driver was stopped for speeding, didn't have an insurance card and was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Another cab was pulled over for not having the license plate illuminated, and police learned the plate was expired and was not registered to that vehicle. 

In another incident, police say officers responded to Bridge Street on June 10, 2017 because someone told them two people were having sex in a cab. Police did not witness the act when they arrived, but say the driver's boyfriend was in the car. Police say the driver, who had been an employee for only two days, violated the law since the boyfriend was not a paying passenger or fellow employee. The driver received a warning from police. While trying to resolve this incident, an officer called the then-manager of the company. While they were speaking, a disturbance broke out near the manager and police responded to 28th and Ohio Streets. During the investigation, police say methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found in the glove box of a cab, so the manager was charged.

Police say two employees who applied for cab driver's licenses never completed the process, and three other employees never applied at all. Twice last summer, two vehicles had inspection stickers seized due to equipment violations. 

The letter from the city says the law allows the license to be suspended for: 1) failure to comply with state, federal or local law, 2) immoral or lewd conduct, or illegal activity by the owner or any driver, and 3) use of a cab for any immoral or illegal purpose.

The letter reminds Doran of a previous suspension of the business license in 2016, and states that the city may take further action if the company continues to persistently violate city ordinances, "including the revocation of the business license of Chi'z Cabz pursuant to section 106-69 of the Paducah City Ordinances."

Doran's attorney, Jeremy Ian Smith, said he still hasn't been provided copies of the documents West Kentucky Star has obtained.

"Normally, anytime something has happened, I've been able to call the city and talk to them, and we've been able to work it out. But this time, it's like they won't even tell me anything," Smith said.

He said the mention of an alleged sex act in the cab is irrelevant if police don't have proof. He speculated that it's possible an employee's license expired and Doran was not aware of it. 

The attorney said, "She's had some minor issues in the past - business licenses and things like that - but she's always taken care of it as soon as she's made aware of it. I've never known her to have issues with employees not having driver's license or not getting their cab license."

Smith hinted there may be other factors influencing the relationship between his client and the city.

He said, "Nicole's outspoken, she doesn't back down from a fight, and I think to some degree, there is some heightened scrutiny on her company as opposed to, maybe, the other cab companies in town." 

Smith said he plans to appeal the suspension when he is able to see specific information.


Published 08:42 PM, Tuesday Feb. 13, 2018
Updated 09:28 PM, Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018

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