Cab company's license transferred Only fleet in Westminster now run by mother of man accused of theft from fare

September 25, 1997|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Facing one criminal charge and a city council hearing, the owner of the only licensed taxi service in Westminster has turned in the license and transferred the company to his mother.

The Westminster Common Council voted Monday night to approve the transfer of the ownership and license of Carroll County Wide Taxi & Transportation Service, as it was listed on the application by Betty June Bizzarri.

The former owner, Robert A. Bizzarri, 33, of the 800 block of Littlestown Pike surrendered his license Friday, said Westminster Police Chief Sam R. Leppo.

Leppo had been trying to schedule a council hearing on complaints about the company since last month, but he said a hearing was unnecessary with the transfer.

Bizzarri declined comment.

He was charged in July with theft for allegedly filling in $400 on a check for a $4 fare for an arthritic passenger May 19, according to court records.

The passenger, Joan E. Trumpe, told police she had asked Bizzarri to fill out the check for her but found the $396 difference in the amount when she received her bank statement, according to the statement of charges.

She told police she had contacted Bizzarri without result before calling them July 11.

Bizzarri has a Nov. 21 trial date in Carroll County District Court on a charge of theft of more than $300, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Betty Bizzarri, 56, of Maple Avenue filed the application with the Westminster Police Department to assume ownership of County Wide for a $25 annual fee for each of three vehicles.

Leppo told the council before the vote that his department can legally keep track of the drivers' permits and the meters in the cabs, which had been areas of concern.

"We've done the necessary background, and there's no reason why the transfer cannot be made," he said.

Leppo said vehicles would be inspected when the new owner takes over, with yearly inspections thereafter. For the meters, Leppo said, "We can bring them in at random to see that they are functional."

Taxicab licenses are required only within city limits, he noted, not in the county.

Two years ago, another taxi company, Carroll County Cab, turned in its licenses to operate in the city rather than go into areas that its operators said were crime-ridden. Westminster Mayor Kenneth A. Yowan had called that move racially motivated.

Those operators turned in their city permits at police headquarters on the eve of a scheduled meeting to discuss complaints from customers who said they had been refused service. The company's owner also had sent a letter formally withdrawing from city service.

Pub Date: 9/25/97

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