– The Police Commission is looking to put some teeth in current taxi medallion laws regarding policies on taxi cab companies’ correspondence with the town and random driver drug tests.
This time last year the Mayor and City Council passed an ordinance installing a $1,500 medallion as a requirement to operate a taxi in Ocean City including other items regarding taxi laws and fees.
Policies included in the ordinance require taxis to keep their cabs clean, random drug tests for drivers and the town will have to correspond with the taxi companies over their insurance as well as their drivers who are hired and fired.
The first issue discussed last week was medallion owners of Nite Club Taxi who failed to notify the Ocean City Police Department of employees leaving their employment or notifying the town of new hires.
The representative from Nite Club Taxi explained to the commission that the employee who caused concern to the town over not notifying them of his employment only worked for the taxi company a couple of weekends and the company did not consider him a permanent employee.
The town caught onto the driver’s employment with the company when he was called on for a random drug test and the employee appealed it because of his employment status with Nite Club Taxi.
“His name was called on for a random drug test and he didn’t show up,” Councilman Lloyd Martin said. “You need to let us know he is working part time as well.”
Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said this is where the problem with taxi companies is arising.
“They are not letting us know when they hire and when they fire,” she said.
Martin explained to the Nite Club Taxi representative that this is the policy and it needs to be followed.
“We just want to get the word out,” he said.
The second issue discussed was of taxi cab driver Muhammad Eldwo, who failed to appear for a drug testing.
Eldwo was present to appeal the failure to appear. He said that he did not show up for the drug test because he was unsure of where to go to have the test completed.
Eldwo’s operating license has been suspended since Feb. 3, from the failure to appear for the drug test, and his taxi medallion was revoked on the spot.
The commission continued his suspension until April 1 when Eldwo will have to re-apply for his taxi license and medallion, upon the receipt of a clean drug test.