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. -- Key Charlotte city council members appear ready to scrap a big dollar deal between the airport and two brothers who spent time in federal prison.
The council is reaction to an exclusive WCNC-TV I-Team investigation which revealed that Charlotte/Douglas Airport director Jerry Orr and a small committee recommended a lucrative taxicab contract to Kashmary Enterprises, owned by three brothers, two of whom went to federal prison.
The airport did not run criminal background checks on company operators but left that job to the city's Passenger Vehicle for Hire (PVH) manager, Burhan Al-Shaikh, himself an employee of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. An attorney for the city, Mujeeb Shah-Khan, says Al-Shaikh relied on the Kashmary brothers assurances that they were not convicted of felonies. Shah-Khan says A-Shaikh consulted with CMPD attorney Mark Newbold before issuing the drivers permits. The city's ordinance says the manager cannot issue drivers' permits to felons who have not had their records expunged.
Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said he will consult with staff before making a final decision on the airport taxi contract but, "It's troubling for sure, particularly if it is in fact the case that adequate due diligence was not done."
And Councilman Patrick Cannon, chairman of the council's Public Safety Committee which oversees taxicab regulations, said council could scrap the airport's recommendations or just eliminate the Kashmary brothers' bid. "There are some things we certainly did not know," Cannon said.
Cannon said he did not know how the PVH manager gave permits to two felons in apparent violation of the city's ordinance.
Beyond the airport contract, Cannon says council is reviewing the entire PVH ordinance which regulates taxicabs, limousines and so-called "black cars" which transport passengers based on a flat fee, not a meter.
Charlotte City Council is scheduled to take up the airport taxi deal on Monday, February 14.