Defendant in taxi lawsuit wants more time to respond - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Defendant in taxi lawsuit wants more time to respond

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Taxi drivers in Charlotte often show that strength comes in numbers. So, it was by design that a group of cabbies showed up at Tuesday afternoon's city's Passenger Vehicle For Hire meeting.

Mohammed Moustafa owns and operates the Universal Cab Company, and says his cars were frozen out of doing business with the airport, because he refused to give money to former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon.

"He said it with his own mouth that he's guilty. He said it with his own mouth that he's corrupted," Moustafa said.

Fighting back for him means taking on some the city's biggest names in a lawsuit. Not just Cannon, but also former aviation director Jerry Orr, and the former head of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Tim Newman.

Just days ago, Mohammad Jenatian President of The Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance asked for more time to answer questions from plaintiffs in the case, and the city may be doing the same thing.

City attorney Bob Haggeman said in an email, "The City's answers in the three law suits are not due yet."

Meanwhile, Council Member Kenny Smith feels playing field at Charlotte Douglas isn't level.

"I think the airport should be open to any and all taxi cab companies or modes of transportation requirement set forth by the airport," Smith said.

While Mohammad Moustafa has retained a lawyer, handwritten documents demonstrate that Frank Hinson who once owned Checker Cab with his wife is representing himself. If the city makes an offer, he'll listen.

The judge handling this case is James L. Gale who is assigned to the Complex Business Cases.

He's given Jenetian until September 17 to respond to the suit.

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