Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Oswego, NY city council bans registrants from driving taxis, drives us crazy
Oswego bans felons, sex offenders from being cabbies
Oswego (WSYR-TV) -- Convicted felons and sex offenders will no longer be allowed to drive a cab in the city of Oswego. City Council voted unanimously Monday on a law requiring cab drivers to get a background check before getting their license
If city police find you’ve been convicted of a felony in the last ten years or you’re a registered sex offender your license will be denied.
“There’s nine [felons or sex offenders], we’re told, that are in the city of Oswego that are driving taxi cabs. We’ve got an obligation to protect the public interest,” said Oswego City Councilor Michael Todd.
Before the vote, opponents pleaded their case one last time, saying council was being overzealous and should reconsider.
“What the council is proposing infringes on constitutional rights of others by discriminating against persons with previous criminal convictions,” said Christine Savage.
Founder and CEO of Workforce Advocacy Center Jeremy Zielinski has threatened legal action.
“I can give you 100 percent assurance it will not survive a judicial review,” he said. “Article 23 of the correction law prohibits blanket bans, blanket policies, which forbid ex-offenders from receiving licenses or employment.”
“I can’t think of a law that goes into effect that somebody doesn’t file a lawsuit against. So, that’s what we’ve got the State Supreme Court and the Appellate Division for. If they chose to go that route, so be it,” Todd said.
Council member say this law is just part of the overall effort to clean up the city and make it a safer place. The law will go into effect once the mayor signs it, which he’s expected to do soon. Cab companies will then have a two week grace period to get background checks for their current employees.