Cabbies Concerned Over Corruption -

Cabbies Concerned Over Corruption

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The chatter among Charlotte cabbies is all about former Mayor Cannon’s corruption investigation.

“I left Morocco because of corruption and I see it all in here and I feel so sad,” said Myahmed Alaoui, owner of Charlotte Taxi Cab.

 “He is corrupt. He was corrupt then and corrupt now and if he comes out he’ll be corrupt again,” said Manager at Royal Cab, Naheed Kashmary.

“I don’t know him as a person but at the end he was bad for the city,  and the citizens,” said Obaid Khan, owner of Diamond Khan.

This week – Charlotte Taxi Cab filed at $20 million lawsuit against the city for revoking its permit.

“The lawsuit is to prove we didn’t do anything wrong and there’s a corruption and we hope with the arrest of Cannon, others will come out,” Alaoui.

“3 years since we were kicked out of the airport but we are disappointed but we are relieved the truth came out,” said Khan.

Royal Cab says Cannon’s associate wanted money to earn a spot at the airport.

“Cannon said come to our office to collect $10,000 for his campaign,” said Kashmary.

“There are 2 companies that are on the verge of the shutting down,” said Alaoui.

The cab companies that didn’t win the airport bid say they have to rely on places like Uptown to get clients. But other companies that did win the bid like Crown, City and Royal say it was a fair process because multiple committees were involved during the selection.

City leaders issued the following statement:

The selection of the cab operators at the Charlotte Douglas Airport, which began in September 2010, was a deliberate and methodical process, which involved review at several different levels. In the following months, the process and the final winning proposals were scrutinized by a selection committee comprised of representatives from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, CMPD, the Airport Advisory Committee, CRVA, as well as a second review by the City Manager’s Office, followed by a unanimous recommendation to Charlotte City Council by the Community Safety Committee on May 5, 2011.

This is the Airport’s response:

After an RFP process, a selection committee recommended 3 taxi companies for an airport permit in 2011. The City Manager substituted the committee’s recommendation.  His recommendation was sent to City Council in a Request for Council Action. It was then referred to the public safety committee.  This committee came back with its recommendation, which was for the cab companies as recommended by the City Manager.

But the cabbies who were excluded from the airport say the corruption is costing them big time.

“Since we lost the airport, we lost everything,” said Kashmary.

“The corruption is taking everyone out of business in favor of 2-3 other companies,” said Alaoui.

“There are no winners – citizens lose and city officials lose,” said Khan.

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