TLC 'pocket vetoed' bill that could protect for-hire vehicle drivers, says Councilman Diaz Sr
Councilman Rev Ruben Diaz Sr has accused TLC of 'pocketing' a bill he introduced two years ago, which addresses lowering the fines levied on for-hire vehicle drivers who pick up unauthorized street hails.
In a statement sent to Parkchester Times, Rev Diaz Sr said the bill was duly enacted and signed into law but the TLC never put it into effect and continued using their old system.
"I am sad to report that in addition to delaying that legislation by two years, I have just learned that another of my “trio” of bills was not only delayed, but it was also effectively ignored. The legislation which was ignored reduced the draconian fine structure for unauthorized street hails, which could result in a ten thousand dollars fine for liveries. Yes, dear readers $10,000.00 if a livery is found to have illegally picked up a street hail. My bill eliminated that. Why? Because dear reader its shocking to the common sense of the ordinary New Yorkers that such a fine could be imposed. We also learned in many public hearings I held, that these charges of “illegal street hails”
by the TLC agents against the local liveries, were many times “staged “by the TLC," he said.
"My bill removed the $10,000.00 fine and instead put into place a more reasonable fee structure. This bill, however, was not put into effect by the TLC, two years ago, rather they continued to adhere to their old system, going so far as to send my staff a screenshot of the old fine structure last week telling her 'here is the law.' Except it was not the law. They were wrong; my staff was correct. My bill duly enacted and signed into law was effectively 'pocket vetoed' by the TLC.
A pocket veto dear reader exists when an executive of a legislative body, Governor, Mayor, President, receives legislation which they refuse to sign or veto. Instead, they simply set it aside (put into their pocket) until the term of the legislative body expires, effectively killing the bill," said Rev Diaz Sr.
Rev Diaz Sr said he learnt from sworn testimony that TLC agents disguised as disabled persons with canes sand wheelchairs would beg the liveries to take them to emergency locations, only to be ticketed.
"In some cases, TLC agents jumped into the liveries and said, “I’m sick take me to Lincoln Hospital,” and later, they were given a ticket for picking up an illegal street hail. In one case a livery car driver picked up his wife from work and was pulled over and his car impounded. Why? Illegal street hail.
My dear readers, that’s what the TLC did with this legislation. The new fair fine structure, for liveries, was never put into effect. The old law has been used unabated for the past two years. How many illegal fines and suspensions have been doled out for these past two years? Why did this occur? Was it in retaliation because the TLC enforcement was embarrassed by the testimony at public hearing of their mistreatment of the liveries?" noted Rev Diaz Sr.
Rev Diaz Sr called on drivers who were ticketed and had their license suspended in the last two years to sue the TLC and request their money back.