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Thread: Florida State Sanctioned Corruption, Hillsborough County Transportation Commission

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    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Default Florida State Sanctioned Corruption, Hillsborough County Transportation Commission

    With all the action that has happened in Tampa over the past 2 days regarding the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission(HCPTC), it is only fitting to start a new thread on this regulatory agency.

    HCPTC Background - The HCPTC is the only regulatory agency of its type in the State of Florida whereas its powers are derived from a special act of the Florida Legislature. Hence, regulatory is set forth in State Law & not a local ordinance. Transportation services regardless of location & demographics must abide by the rules & directives of the HCPTC or face criminal charges. With Florida being a major draw for retiree's, the directives of the HCPTC includes airport transportation services located 50 - 100 miles from Tampa being forced to limit the offerings of luxury transportation to these retiree's at either a cost well below market value or at a pricing that will doom the business to failure. This policy of limitation to "luxury vehicles" has been confirmed to be strictly an attempt to protect a specific industry, the Tampa taxicabs. The only other alternative is for the transportation service to run 10 - 15 passenger vans/buses regardless of the passenger load. Prohibited from use are moderate priced sedans, minivans & hybrids that would allow the motor carrier to offer moderate priced transfers to the interstate traveler & allow the motor carrier to earn a decent profit.

    Recent Events - Ndidi Osuji is a van operator in Tampa who leased his permit from a Certificate holder as many 1 vehicle operators do. Some months back he was parked by the Tampa cruise ship terminal & was approached by a family for transportation to the airport(?). This was observed by a HCPTC Inspector who intervened & told the folks that they must use a taxicab over the objections of the gent who wanted to use the van. Mr Osuji was given a citation for "solicitation" & he in turn contacted Attorney Luke Lirot to represent him in fighting the citation. Luke fought & won the case & as a result, the Certificate holder pulled the permit from Mr Osuji.

    Mr Osuji, now unable to earn a living found another Certificate holder willing to lease a permit to Mr Osuji. This offer was pulled when the Certificate holder was contacted by the Executive Director of the HCPTC (Greg Cox) who, as reported & confirmed through interviews, was intimidated by Cox to pull the offer of leasing the permit.

    Mr Osuji contacted myself through the FITA website & we discussed on numerous occasions, options with emphasis on contacting the media & moving on into the civil courts. Mr. Osuji contacted an invesigative reporter, Mike Deeson, who has been working with several members of FITA waiting for the right story to break & he jumped on Mr Osuji's story of civil rights violation of being "blackballed":
    Blackballed

    During the 8 August HCPTC meeting the VP of FITA, Haze Andreadakis, appeared before the board confirming this tactic was not an isolated case & demanding that the board takes action:

    HCPTC Meeting

    Based on the accusations of blackballing, concern of financials, a hostile work environment & other issues, Cox was suspended for 30 days & an investigation ordered.

    Up Next - Tampa Denies Waiver For Prius (Hybrid)
    Last edited by gunny; September 24th, 2011 at 05:40 PM.
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    Senior Member Wade Randolph's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gunny:
    With all the action that has happened in Tampa over the past 2 days regarding the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission(HCPTC), it is only fitting to start a new thread on this regulatory agency.

    HCPTC Background - The HCPTC is the only regulatory agency of its type in the State of Florida whereas its powers are derived from a special act of the Florida Legislature. Hence, regulatory is set forth in State Law & not a local ordinance. Transportation services regardless of location & demographics must abide by the rules & directives of the HCPTC or face criminal charges. With Florida being a major draw for retiree's, the directives of the HCPTC includes airport transportation services located 50 - 100 miles from Tampa being forced to limit the offerings of luxury transportation to these retiree's at either a cost well below market value or at a pricing that will doom the business to failure. This policy of limitation to "luxury vehicles" has been confirmed to be strictly an attempt to protect a specific industry, the Tampa taxicabs. The only other alternative is for the transportation service to run 10 - 15 passenger vans/buses regardless of the passenger load. Prohibited from use are moderate priced sedans, minivans & hybrids that would allow the motor carrier to offer moderate priced transfers to the interstate traveler & allow the motor carrier to earn a decent profit.

    Recent Events - Ndidi Osuji is a van operator in Tampa who leased his permit from a Certificate holder as many 1 vehicle operators do. Some months back he was parked by the Tampa cruise ship terminal & was approached by a family for transportation to the airport(?). This was observed by a HCPTC Inspector who intervened & told the folks that they must use a taxicab over the objections of the gent who wanted to use the van. Mr Osuji was given a citation for "solicitation" & he in turn contacted Attorney Luke Lirot to represent him in fighting the citation. Luke fought & won the case & as a result, the Certificate holder pulled the permit from Mr Osuji.

    Mr Osuji, now unable to earn a living found another Certificate holder willing to lease a permit to Mr Osuji. This offer was pulled when the Certificate holder was contacted by the Executive Director of the HCPTC (Greg Cox) who, as reported & confirmed through interviews, was intimidated by Cox to pull the offer of leasing the permit.

    Mr Osuji contacted myself through the FITA website & we discussed on numerous occasions, options with emphasis on contacting the media & moving on into the civil courts. Mr. Osuji contacted an invesigative reporter, Mike Deeson, who has been working with several members of FITA waiting for the right story to break & he jumped on Mr Osuji's story of civil rights violation of being "blackballed":
    Blackballed

    During the 8 August HCPTC meeting the VP of FITA, Haze Andreadakis, appeared before the board confirming this tactic was not an isolated case & demanding that the board takes action:

    HCPTC Meeting

    Based on the accusations of blackballing, concern of financials, a hostile work environment & other issues, Cox was suspended for 30 days & an investigation ordered.

    Up Next - Tampa Denies Waiver For Prius (Hybrid)
    Mr. Cox sounds like the type of guy that would accept nice gifts in exchange for permits. And I thought only Louisiana had crooked politicians.

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    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Wade Randolph:

    Mr. Cox sounds like the type of guy that would accept nice gifts in exchange for permits. And I thought only Louisiana had crooked politicians.
    Maybe someone should check with the major knee pad wearers over at the WFLA? Based on a post on the channel 10 forum by Pinellas County based, WFLA Prez & TLPA Board Member Dave (keep economic regulation under local control) Shaw, he still is clueless to federal & state transportation laws outside of Hillsborough County & continues to insist that the regulations are the will of the Industry!
    Too bad he isn't insisting on the same law & rule enforcement for the 2009 Super Bowl! Don't worry Dave, we will be insisting on strict enforcement & filing criminal complaints against those that do violate the law. Especially those operators leasing temp permits to outside motor carriers under disquise they (outside operators) are leasing their vehicles to the certificate holders.
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    "A small car like a Prius "lowers the standards of the industry"" SP Times 9 Aug 2007

    George Vallee, Airport Limo of Tampa Bay
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    Senior Member Wade Randolph's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gunny:
    "A small car like a Prius "lowers the standards of the industry"" SP Times 9 Aug 2007

    George Vallee, Airport Limo of Tampa Bay
    Wow what a handsome devil.

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    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Wade Randolph:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gunny:
    "A small car like a Prius "lowers the standards of the industry"" SP Times 9 Aug 2007

    George Vallee, Airport Limo of Tampa Bay
    Wow what a handsome devil. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The Prius has been featured as carrying the Stars to the Academy Awards & here is this Tampa Cabbie spouting off how the Prius degrades the limo industry. Guess the clowns in Tampa knows something that much of the Industry Nationally is missing. Yet again, seeing that many limo operators in Tampa are taxicab rooted running 5-10 year old TC's into ground, they be the experts the rest can look up to.
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  7. #7

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    How would he know ?
    Originally posted by gunny:
    "A small car like a Prius "lowers the standards of the industry"" SP Times 9 Aug 2007

    George Vallee, Airport Limo of Tampa Bay
    Dean Schuler

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    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    The Unhappy Camper

    Greg Cox, Executive Director, HCPTC
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    Transcripts of HCPTC Meeting 8 Aug 2007

    Commissioner White:
    "Approximately 8 to 10 weeks ago, after receiving an abundance of calls & complaints, I went over directly to the PTC Office, interviewed every employee of the PTC as well as Mr Cox. I had gotten reports of I guess hostile management tactics, if you will, abusive language, demeaning attitudes toward employees, and basically employee morale was in the toilet, and I went over and I said rather than -- you know, normally when you hear complaints from an organization, there's going to be one person -- you're never going to have 100% buy-in or cohesiveness in any organization. You probably won't even get 100% consensus on this board, but when everyone in an organization is complaining, normally where there is smoke, there's fire."

    "I got a call from Mr Osuji who is in the audience and who spoke at the beginning of the meeting stating that he is a licensed, valid certificate holder in Hillsborough County and has been getting blackballed throughout the induistry, and his right to work has been infringed upon, and I just said, well, I can't imagine this happening, and which I couldn't, because I said , this is not our job."

    "And I called Mr Cox on that, and he vehemently denied that he would do no such thing, and I have to take him at his word for that."

    "I had my office relay that information back to Mr Osuji. Two days after that I got a phone call with a phone number and a name of a certificate holder of whom I contacted, who indeed corroborated Mt Osuji's statement that Mr Cox had indeed called him, and basically, I'll paraphrase the conversation ......... Well, if you take the chance, you're going to have a lot of problems out of the PTC and you're probably going to have your certificate looked into quite heavily, .......... and I don't think you should hire him."


    "He who ties the subordinate to a tree with the ropes of discipline and then whips him, is a coward"
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    Florida Representative Rick Kriseman Ranking Democrat Environment & Natural Resources Council Rips Into HCPTC Over Denying Waiver For Hybrid

    Letter to the HCPTC Commissioners in part reads:

    "The second argument , and the most important, is that you have the authority to change your own rules in order to coincide with the times we live in. And if you're unwilling to amend your rules, you still have the authority to grant waivers, and to reward transportation companies who forsake traditional luxury limousines in order to be environmentally responsible. ............... Simply put, by not rewarding Mr. Leib's good intentions - by so carelessly denying his application and refusing to engage in any thoughtful deliberation - you are ignoring an issue that should be of great concern to any transportation commission."

    Letter To HCPTC
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  11. #11

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    "normally where there is smoke, there's fire"

    looks like someone finally sees the light....
    Tony Franzetti
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    Times are a changing...
    Dean Schuler

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    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dean Schuler:
    Times are a changing...
    Yes they are!!!
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    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Quick update;
    The Commission has hired a private attorney to conduct interviews & substantiate claims made against the Executive Director. These interviews have alredy started & may even be completed by now.

    I would imagine based on her findings, the Commission will decide the next course of action. Any information concerning civil action that may result out of this will be witheld until the papers are filed & is of public record.
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    When American regulators behave like NAZI's, the F.B.I. must be called.
    Dean Schuler

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