EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

October 8, 2013

Council to decide taxi company's future tonight

DeNaro: American Taxi not operating in 'best interest of the community'

HAVERHILL — Police will resume their fight to close a local taxi cab company tonight.

Two weeks ago, City Council voted to postpone for two weeks its decision on whether to renew American Transportation Taxi Service’s license to operate two cabs in Haverhill. The decision effectively closed the business until a final decision is made at tonight’s meeting at 7 in City Hall.

Police have recommended the council deny the renewal, but the reasons for that recommendation have not been made public.

Councilors met in a rare closed-door meeting Sept. 24 with taxi company owner Dean Manemanus, his lawyer Paul Magliocchetti and police. Two female taxi employees also attended parts of the secret meeting.

After the private meeting, councilors reconvened in public and agreed to give Manemanus two weeks to try to resolve his dispute with police.

But yesterday, Magliocchetti said police have refused to negotiate or even speak to him about the matter since the meeting.

“I reached out to police like the council requested, but they didn’t respond,” Magliocchetti said.

Police Chief Alan DeNaro said he never agreed to negotiate to keep Manemanus in business.

DeNaro said he received a proposal from Magliocchetti late last week, but that he is not comfortable with the terms. He said he would attend tonight’s meeting to explain his concerns to councilors.

“Our position is the same, that he is not operating his business in the best interest of the community,” DeNaro said of Manemanus.

The Sept. 24 private meeting, known as an executive session, was the first time the council met outside public view in at least a decade.

“The evidence established a pattern that was so egregious that I’m compelled to deny the license due to the police recommendation,” Councilor Michael Hart said of American Taxi after the council emerged from the closed-door session.

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