CORRECTION as of Friday, May 27, 2011:
In several website postings on WCNC.com, the criminal records of the two individuals who are part owners of Kashmary Enterprises, which owns King Cab company, were inaccurately reflected. The postings should have reflected that Javed Kashmary served almost three months in federal prison in Beckley, W.V., for identification document fraud, and that Naheed Kashmary served 14 months in federal prison in Gilmer, W.V., for transaction structuring, a financial crime. Naheed Kashmary did not plead guilty to any charge regarding the purchase a fake driver's license. WCNC regrets this error.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte City Council postponed a vote to select taxicab companies to serve the Charlotte Douglas Airport and avoided the issue of how two felons were able to keep their taxi drivers' permits and be recommended as one of the winning bidders.
Last Wednesday the NewsChannel 36 I-Team broke the story that King and Royal Cab companies were run by three brothers named Kashmary - two of whom - Javed and Naheed Kashmary - had served time in federal prison.
The Kashmary's attorney says the brothers should still get the contract. "This is an American company and despite the problems in the past, they're still the best company to do the work that the airport demands," said attorney Monroe Whitesides.
City Manager Curt Walton took the airport taxicab contract off the council's agenda after the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem said they needed more time to look into the criminal background checks of the companies.
Council members had nothing but praise for airport director Jerry Orr and only noted the criminal background issue in passing. Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon said he thought the Passenger Vehicle for Hire manager was the person who should have conducted criminal background checks.
Both Javed and Naheed Kashmary received permits to drive a taxicab after their felony convictions according to the PVH board's attorney. Charlotte's city ordinance forbids drivers with a felony record from obtaining a permit to drive a cab. After the I-Team's questions, Senior City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Khan said the Kashmarys had surrendered their drivers permits but maintained their permit to operate a cab company.
Dozens of taxicab drivers protested outside the government center before the council meeting. Taxi drivers at the airport say the new deal will leave many of them without work since the airport is reducing the number of full time cabs from 144 to 105.
Council has postponed the issue until next month.