In an unusual suspension-on-arrest case called TLC v. Ault, the OATH judge recommended continuation of the driver's suspension following an arrest for conspiracy to commit money laundering. The scenario was highly unusual in that the charges were federal. Despite finding that the driver maintained a good driving record, ALJ Lee said that the accusations called into question the respondent's honesty, which was enough for her to continue the suspension even if the statute that permits suspensions speaks to public safety, not financial loss. See Taxi & Limousine Comm’n v. Ault, OATH Index No. 2261/21 (July 15, 2021).
The ALJ concluded:
"Crimes involving drivers' honesty have been found to pose a direct and substantial threat to public health or safety as they have a “direct nexus to their willingness to follow regulations and qualifications for continued licensure, since a driver's interactions with the public include accepting cash or credit card payments, making change, and safeguarding valuables in his or her car.” Taxi & Limousine Comm'n v. Flete, OATH Index No. 510/21 at 7 (Oct. 28, 2020), adopted, Comm'r Dec. (Nov. 12, 2020) (continuing suspension for driver's arrest for felony grand larceny and forgery and criminal trespass charges); see also Taxi & Limousine Comm'n v. Singh, OATH Index No. 689/14 (Oct. 23, 2013), adopted, Comm'r Dec. (Jan. 30, 2014) (continuing license suspension based upon driver's arrest for bribing a public servant where driver did not testify about the circumstances underlying his arrest or offer any evidence demonstrating that, even if the charges were true, his continued licensure would not pose a threat to public health or safety); Taxi & Limousine Comm'n v. Singh, OATH Index No. 2861/08 at 5 (July 16, 2008), adopted, Comm'r Dec. (Aug. 15, 2008) (continuing suspension based upon driver's arrest for grand larceny where evidence which driver submitted at trial did not support his contention that the arrest stemmed only from a misunderstanding). Respondent has not proffered any evidence to the contrary. While other considerations under Nnebe include the driver's overall record and character, respondent's good driving history during her four-year tenure as a TLC licensee and potential financial hardship as a result of the suspension are not sufficient to persuade this Court to lift the suspension. See Taxi & Limousine Comm'n v. Al-kafi, OATH Index No. 580/14 at 5 (Nov. 7, 2013), adopted, Comm'r Dec. (Jan. 2, 2014) (driver's financial burden is not a proper basis for lifting a suspension)."
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