By Nick Mattos, PQ Monthly
The City of Portland has fined Broadway Cab and suspended the taxi license of the driver who kicked a lesbian couple out onto the highway.
Documents provided to PQ Monthly by the City of Portland indicate that Broadway Cab was fined $1000 for failing to meet a “Minimum Standard of Service for Taxicab Companies” with their treatment of Kate Neal and Shanako Devoll. Furthermore, Ahmed Egal, the driver of the cab, was cited as behaving in such a way that “constitute[d] a threat to public safety and convenience” (as well as behaving belligerently towards city employees during the course of the investigation) and had his license to operate a taxi within city limits revoked.
Read the city’s letters noting their findings for both Broadway Cab and Egal (click to expand the image; as a courtesy, Egal’s home address has been redacted from the document):
PQ will continue to follow the story and update this post as statements and further developments arise.
UPDATED 3:28 PM 21 AUGUST 2013:
PQ received the following statement from Nik Yanchar, the attorney representing Neal and Devoll:
“The city handled this case very well in an expeditious and professional manner. They understood the severity of the public demand for information and that affect and effect on my client’s lives. They quickly investigated and came to a decision much faster than normal (usually months). I greatly appreciate the City of Portland Revenue Bureau for their work in this case… I am happy with the decision. I would have liked more findings of course by the city. But I understand they were constrained based on what they were investigating and what was within their power to investigate. I think that the proper outcome resulted here — that the driver should not be allowed to operate a cab in Portland anymore and that Broadway Cab takes some of the responsibility of allowing him to drive on their cabs with the views he has and the inability to not let it effect his professional career… This [decision] shows that there was wrongful acts by the driver and Broadway Cab in this situation. I want to make clear that the financial penalty against Broadway was restricted by Portland City Code and could not be higher than what was given. So the max fine was imputed to Broadway. To me, this creates an argument and support for the claim that Broadway has some liability for the way this driver acted that night, and how they handled it once my clients were on the side of the highway. “
UPDATED 8:52 AM 22 AUGUST 2013:
Kate Neal issued a statement to PQ Monthly reacting to the city’s decision:
“We feel very good about the city’s recent decision regarding our experience with Broadway Cab and one of their drivers, Ahmed Egal. They investigated this incident in regards only to city taxi code violations and their resulting decision is extremely just and fair considering the circumstances. City investigators talked to all parties involved, reviewed cab video footage and GPS, and the 911 call and found what we’ve been saying the entire time: the truth. They found that the claims made by the driver on the 911 call were completely false and that our experience did, in fact, violate city taxi code. We are relieved to know the truth prevailed though it certainly was not an easy road to travel. We made the decision together to stand up for what is right, regardless of the negative implications doing so would have on our personal lives because, as we’ve learned from history, things will not change until we challenge the status quo. That is what we did and hopefully, Portland cabs will be a safer place because of it.”