EVERETT (CBS) — An Uber driver arrested over the weekend for allegedly exposing himself was still driving for the company despite already facing charges in a previous exposure incident from earlier this year.
His Sunday arrest marked the second time an Uber driver was taken into custody in Everett in the last few weeks, and now the mayor of the city wants to meet with the ride-hailing company to talk about how to keep the city’s residents safe.
Prosecutors say Paul Griffin, 28, of Malden, exposed himself to two women while in his van in separate incidents Sunday. Those women were not passengers in his vehicle.
Police said Griffin sped away from them when they tried to pull him over Sunday, and led them on a foot chase before he was arrested.
Griffin didn’t show his face in court Monday as he was arraigned on charges of open and gross lewdness and resisting arrest.
According to the Suffolk District Attorney’s office, it wasn’t Griffin’s first exposure arrest.
They said Griffin was arrested for allegedly exposing himself near Downtown Crossing back in March. In that case, which is open in Boston Municipal Court, the two women were also pedestrians and not passengers.
Griffin cleared a background check when he started driving with Uber in September of 2014–but Uber didn’t know about the March incident until Monday, because Massachusetts does not have a system in place to let private companies know about recent arrests.
Two weeks ago, an Uber driver was charged with raping a 16-year-old passenger in Everett. After this second incident, the city is trying to set up a meeting with Uber to talk safety concerns.
“In the interest of public safety, Uber needs to step up and we need to take a closer look at this,” said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s Chief of Staff, Kevin O’Donnell. “These situations are appalling and they can’t continue to happen.”
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Jr., wrote a letter to Uber’s CEO calling for a meeting to discuss the establishment of a local licensing process.
“It is clear to me that the current driver screening system is simply not working, and recent ride-share legislation passed here in Massachusetts will not be implemented for several months,” DeMario wrote.
On Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker told WBZ-TV’s Anna Meiler that new ride share regulation legislation that he signed earlier this month will help the state keep a closer eye on drivers.
“Keep in mind, if anyone under the new law breaks the law, we’re going to find out about it, we’ll be in a position to notify the transportation networking company about it,” said Gov. Baker. “Remember, they’re going to get re-upped twice a year once this takes effect, so it’s not like they get one check one time and nothing happens after that.”
“People will constantly be in a process of being reviewed to determine if their records are still clean,” he added.
That new legislation goes into effect in November. Gov. Baker said he will work aggressively with companies like Uber and Lyft to make sure all drivers are processed through that background check system.