Honolulu City Council to discuss extending background checks


Should a background check show someone’s entire criminal past?

The question is being raised after two young women say they were sexually assaulted by a cab driver.

The company that previously contracted the driver did a background check on him, but the company’s owner told us it only went back two years.

Another cab company asked KHON2 via Report It to see if something can be done.

In 2007, Charley’s Taxi CEO Dale Evans says she reached out to the city hoping to extend the current background check. Her goal was to let it show a person’s whole criminal past.

“They can be in jail for five years and if the last two years they are in jail then they give them a license,” she said.

Evans says she raised the issue to the city, but got nowhere. Now she is raising the issue to the city again, this time in hopes that something will be done.

“The thing is some of these people are not trustworthy, so the only way you can find out is to look at their background,” said Evans.

So what is the Honolulu City Council looking to do to solve this issue?

“Next week I have my transportation committee meeting coming up so I’ll put this matter on the agenda so we can have a discussion with everyone who is concerned and see why it is like that and what can be done,” said council member Breene Harimoto.

While Evans’ previous efforts with prior council members might not have gone the way she liked, it seems that a few of these members are seriously looking into it.

“I thought of doing a resolution or a bill to see what we can do, but we’ll wait until after this hearing and then maybe we can work on some legislation together,” said council member Ann Kobayashi.

Council members agree it’s a safety concern.

“We want to make sure that our drivers are who we think they are,” said Harimoto. “Having background checks go back further than two years is a wise thing to do.”

blog comments powered by Disqus