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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cabbie Accused of Kicking Out Lesbian Couple on Highway Has License Revoked

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 2:59 PM

A Broadway Cab driver accused of dumping out a lesbian couple on the side of Interstate 84—after he saw them holding hands, the woman claimed—has had his license revoked by the city agency that oversees taxis and other for-hire driving outfits.

The driver, Ahmed Egal, has 10 days to appeal the finding (pdf), which doesn't delve into the specifics of the complaint but accuses him of failing to uphold his main duty as a cabdriver under city code: taking passengers safely to their destination via the quickest route possible. The city's letter to Egal also says he lobbied a second cab driver not to pick up the women and that he repeatedly hung up on investigators and wouldn't acknowledge his duties under city code.


The city's Private For-Hire Transportation Board also sent a notice (pdf) to Broadway Cab, fining the company $1,000 for failing to promptly respond to complaints by the two women—directing them to leave a voicemail after they were forced from Egal's cab instead of sending another cab to pick them up.

The women, Shanako DeVoll and Kate Neal, went public about the July 25 incident on their Facebook pages late last month. They said they were taken home by a Portland police officer who responded to the scene, after they climbed up an embankment from Interstate 84. Egal called 911 to report that the women were drunk and wouldn't pay.

The city says it reviewed the 911 call, Broadway records, and taxi recordings. Egal's license has been suspended since the incident was reported. Broadway said, at the time, it was conducting its own investigation.

Though an appeal is possible, Kathleen Butler of the city's Revenue Bureau says they are few and far between.

As for how often a finding is reversed? "It's quite rare that a decision is overturned," she says.

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