BOSTON (CBS) – Five Massport employees have been arrested for allegedly taking bribes from taxi drivers in exchange for preferential treatment at Logan Airport’s cab stands.
The five suspects, known as “cab starters,” allegedly took money from drivers who they allowed to skip waiting in the Taxi Pool.
The employees arrested are:
- Kenneth Clement, 67, of Attleboro
- Michael Garvey, 51, of Melrose
- Vadim Mkrtychev, 37, of West Roxbury
- James Mulrey, 45, of Canton
- Donald Potts, 47, of Medford
Drivers who fail to report to the Taxi Pool and instead report directly to a cab stand are known as “jumpers.” The starters who man the cab stands are supposed to issue violations to these drivers.
In an investigation from November 2012 to January 2013, the suspects allegedly received more than $1000 in bribe money. They allegedly took $20 to $40 for allowing drivers to “jump” into their cab stands. The investigation also suggests that some starters would take scratch tickets, cigarettes, and other goods instead of cash.
Starters also allegedly steered higher-priced fares to drivers who bribed them more.
Some of the drivers who spoke with State Police investigators estimated that they made about $350 per day following procedure, but could make as much as $600 per day by bribing the starters and avoiding the Taxi Pool.
“Working men and women shouldn’t have to grease someone’s palm just to make an honest living, but the defendants are accused of demanding just that,” District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said. “At the same time, the taxi drivers who allegedly paid them off enjoyed a tremendous financial advantage over drivers who played honestly and by the rules. It’s not fair, and it won’t be tolerated.”
All five suspects are expected to be arraigned in East Boston District Court on Wednesday.