Felons Recommended For Airport Taxi Contract
Charlotte-Douglas Airport Aviation Director Jerry Orr wants a taxi company run by convicted felons to be one of three providers of taxi service for the airport. Orr tells the Charlotte Observer and WCNC-TV he didn't know about the records of brothers Javed and Naheed Kashmary when a selection committee on which he serves recommended their proposal. The Kashmarys served time in federal prison after they pleaded guilty in 2007 to charges "stemming from a scheme to buy 40 fake driver's licenses," the Observer's Steve Harrison and WCNC-TV's Stuart Watson report as part of a joint investigation. The Kashmarys own Royal and King Cab, and Orr says still supports them being awarded a contract to serve the airport. "That the company violated laws and paid the price for that, I don't think is a security issue," Orr says. Not everyone is so sure. Andrew Thomas, the editor of Journal of Transportation Security, was surprised the committee didn't know about the felony records and asks, "What risk-management practices will be in place to deal with this?" From the Observer/WCNC report: He (Thomas) says that taxi drivers have better access to the airport than most people. If a driver were to have a fake license, it would raise questions about whether that driver should be working there, Thomas said. According to the story, Javed Kashmary denied having a criminal record when asked by reporters. When told of his time in prison, he said "It's past. It's gone. Whatever." Charlotte-Douglas is in the process of reducing the number of taxi providers from 12 to 3. The selection committee also recommends Crown Cab and Taxi USA to the Charlotte City Council, which could take up the issue on Monday. You can read the rest of the report in the Observer here. The WCNC-TV report, including video, is here.