STITA Cab Challenges Yellow Taxi Lobbyist Over Role In Taxi Contract
On Thursday (April 15) STITA Cab announced that it is challenging Chris Van Dyk, lobbyist for Yellow Taxi, to provide documents and answer questions about his role in drafting two rival taxi contract proposals.
Yet, according to documents (download PDF here), Van Dyk has failed to respond to subpoenas in the case and on Wednesday (April 14) filed a motion to plead the Fifth Amendment. The motion will be noted for decision in King County Court this Friday (April 16).
As we’ve previously reported, STITA has filed two lawsuits against the Port for its alleged mishandling of switching cab vendors over from STITA to Yellow Taxi. They have also accused Van Dyk of collusion in the RFP process.
Prior to this, the most recent news was Feb. 22nd, when the Washington state Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the cab company by granting a temporary injunction against the Port of Seattleâ€™s planned contract with Yellow Cab/Puget Sound Dispatch.
According to STITA:
â€œIf Chris Van Dyk has nothing to hide and didnâ€™t do anything wrong, then why is he pleading the Fifth?” said Jesse Buttar, STITA spokesperson. â€œClearly, itâ€™s time for the Port of Seattle to do the right thing and re-write the proposal request and re-bid the contract.â€
The Port of Seattle faces two lawsuits stemming from its handling of a competitive contract process for the exclusive rights to offer cab service for passengers leaving Sea-Tac Airport. The Seattle-Tacoma International Taxi Association (STITA) filed a lawsuit in January against the Port of Seattle to stop the Port from awarding its airport taxi contract to Yellow Cab.
On Feb. 12, Farwest Taxi (Rainier Dispatch), which was part of a joint venture that submitted a bid to the Port last year, filed a separate lawsuit alleging that Van Dyk had misappropriated the joint ventureâ€™s confidential information and had improperly passed it on to the winning bidder, Yellow Taxi. Farwestâ€™s suit requests the court to disqualify Yellow Taxiâ€™s bid, require the Port to start over and reinitiate a new Request for Proposal (RFP) process, and bar Yellow Taxi from bidding on the new RFP.
Van Dykâ€™s assertion of the Fifth is important because the Portâ€™s RFP states: â€œOne or all responses will be rejected if there is reason for believing that collusion exists among Proposers, and no participant in such collusion will be considered in future proposals for concessions at the Airport.â€ [RFP, 13.4.1, p. 6]
Last year, the Port opened the contract for on-demand taxi cabs at Sea-Tac and issued a Request for Proposals. In December, the Port awarded a five-year contract to Yellow Cab, to start in September. However, the Port currently is blocked from signing the contract with Yellow while the lawsuits make their way through the legal system.
- Court Ruling Prevents Port Of Seattle From Signing Taxi Contract. For Now.
- Taxicab Companies Request State Investigation Into Port Of Seattle
- Port Of Seattle Being Sued By Second Taxi Company
- UPDATE: After Brief Denial, STITA Cab Wins Stay Against Port Of Seattle
- STITA Taxi Files Lawsuit Against Port Of Seattle For Breaking Contract