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October 9, 2013

Council shuts down cab company

DeNaro: Anonymous complaint against competitor traced to company's owner

HAVERHILL — City Council voted 6 to 2 last night to shut down American Transportation Taxi Service for a number of undisclosed reasons and one reason that was made public after the meeting.

In a letter to the council, police Chief Alan DeNaro said the owner of the company, Dean Manemanus, recently phoned in an anonymous complaint to the City Clerk’s office about a local competitor, Family Cab company.

“It has been discovered that this anonymous phone call originated at American Taxi and it is believed to have been called in by Mr. Manemanus himself,” DeNaro said in the letter. “Based upon all the issues and concerns that have been previously outlined, I strongly recommend that council deny American Taxi the right to operate in Haverhill.”

Two weeks ago, City Council voted to postpone its decision on the license until last night, to give Manemanus and police time to try to resolve their dispute over the business.

But Monday, Manemanus’ lawyer Paul Magliocchetti said police refused to negotiate or even speak to him about the matter since the Sept. 24 meeting.

Also Monday, DeNaro said he never agreed to negotiate to keep Manemanus in business. The chief said he received a proposal from Magliocchetti late last week, but that he was not comfortable with the terms.

At a closed-door meeting Sept. 24 with councilors and Manemanus, police outlined a number of additional reasons for denying the license. Those reasons have not been made public.

Last night, Council President Robert Scatamacchia attempted to call for a quick vote on the license and dispose of the matter without debate or comment.

Councilor William Ryan objected, however. Ryan, who has been pushing hard to shut Manemanus down, made the motion to deny the license last night.

“His lawyer (Magliocchetti) made it sound like police did something wrong and aren’t doing their job,” Ryan said. “I want the public to know that’s not the case. I know there’s an attempt here tonight to move this quickly, but I want to clear the record on this.”

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