Taxi company shut out of the airport terminal
EAGLE COUNTY – A local taxi company is probably headed toward a second lawsuit against Eagle County.Vail Valley Taxi was hit recently with a one-year suspension from the passenger terminal at the Eagle County Airport. The suspension means the company can still pick up and drop off passengers at the airport, but its employees are prohibited from being inside the terminal.The suspension was handed down because of county claims that the taxi company repeatedly violated rules about having drivers inside the passenger terminal. Those violations were recorded by video cameras in the terminal, County Attorney Bryan Treu.
Treu said the rules were violated by several of the more than three dozen taxi, van and limousine companies that pick up and drop off passengers from the airport. But, he said, only Vail Valley Taxi was issued enough violation notices to warrant a suspension.Ike Kaiser, the Vail Valley Taxi company’s Denver-based attorney, says the county violated the state’s laws about due process when it handed out the violations.”We don’t know what regulations were violated, or which drivers to call as witnesses,” Kaiser said. “We didn’t know who to call to defend the charge.”County officials had rejected those claims before a May hearing with County Administrator Bruce Baumgartner. Because of what Kaiser called the county’s lack of specificity in the charges, he and company co-owner Dan Booz left the hearing.Because Baumgartner has the final word at the county level, the taxi company is headed to district court in Eagle to appeal that ruling, Kaiser said.
Vail Valley Taxi is already suing Eagle County over a 2004 bid for counter space at the airport, alleging the county violated its own bid requirements when it granted a lease for the space to Aspen-based Hy Mountain Taxi. Depositions and first hearings in that case are scheduled for later this month.Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or email@example.com.
Vail Daily, Vail Colorado
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