As recently as Thursday morning, you could call Madison Taxi in Port Washington for a pickup. Yet it was not a legitimate business, says the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs.
and the County’s Consumer Affairs conducted a sting operation on unlicensed taxis and vehicles and improperly licensed drivers working for Stuart Madison, who was running Madison Taxi.
Thursday morning they seized three vehicles, including a van and a Town Car.
Madison Taxi had operated from Four Haven Avenue but left that location in October. Currently, Superpages.com lists Madison Taxi at 149 Manorhaven Boulevard, although the storefront window sign reads “Port Washington Taxi.”
Police say that off and on Stuart Madison had operated Madison Taxi legitimately for about eight years. Yet during that span he also had violation problems and unlicensed operators. This time around he had let the licenses expire and had stated that he was out of business.
Police, however, discovered that Madison was still operating his company when they previously ticketed a driver working for him.
“He was unlicensed and uninsured,” said Police Officer Brian McCarty, who worked the case with Police Officer Drew Haagenson, under Deputy Chief Ron DeMeo. “If they [the drivers] got into an accident, who covers the passengers?”
Still, police and Consumer Affairs had to prove that Madison was operating illegally, dropping off paying customers in vehicles without having proper for-hire licenses and insurance.
After a two week investigation, Port Police and the County’s Consumer Affairs conducted the sting, calling the company for pickups at three separate locations. Once the drivers acknowledged they worked for Madison, they were issued tickets in lieu of arrest. At the third location, Madison himself was the driver.
The Nassau County Taxi and Limousine Commission requires that drivers go through a background check to help ensure that there are no pedophiles or convicted robbers behind the wheel, said Kenneth M. Heino, executive assistant to the commissioner of Consumer Affairs. The vehicles must be safe for the roads and safe for passengers.
Otherwise, he said, “the consumer is at risk.”
The fee to register a for-hire vehicle with the TLC is $5, as is the fee to renew registration.
No one was at the Manorhaven Boulevard location on Thursday afternoon, and a call to the office indicated that the number was out of service.
Fines and possible jail time are not yet determined, according to Madalyn F. Farley, Acting Commissioner of Consumer Affairs.