FOX 8 Investigates: Recordings reveal new details about cabbie - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

FOX 8 Investigates: Recordings reveal new details about cabbie case

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New Orleans - Some cab drivers in New Orleans say the alleged corruption involving the city's taxi cab bureau and one cab company is much more wide-spread.

FOX 8 has reaction to the crackdown and new audio recordings that led to yesterday's arrests.

When police arrested Donald Juneau, the vice president of the board at United Cab Company, their evidence ranged from witness statements to surveillance video.

The video shows Juneau, who goes by the nickname ‘Cornbread,' appearing to scrape off old inspection stickers on United Cab Company cabs and replace them with new ones at the United yard.

A source close to the investigation, who does not want to be identified, says the manager at United instructed cabbies to bypass the system.

"He just told me to go outside and hand Cornbread the money order for an inspection sticker and give him an extra $10 for his trouble for doing this for me," the source said.

The inspections are only supposed to happen at the city's inspection station in New Orleans East, and without drivers having to pay additional money.

According to investigators, those stickers at United were traced back to a taxi cab bureau inspector, Ronnie Blake, who was also arrested in connection with the kickback scheme.

"They have been doing it since I have been a cab driver," the source explained.

Cabbies said Wednesday there is no doubt the alleged corruption goes deeper than just two arrests.

"They probably have got more than them, because I went down there to get my inspection and had my windshield wipers sticking up. (My car) didn't pass. Another cab had the same thing, they put an inspection sticker on," cab driver Ernest Cheneau said.
FOX 8 also obtained a recorded phone call from Juneau to the dispatcher at United, telling him to alert cabbies that one of the so-called ‘good inspectors' was working that day.

"He's one of the good ones, okay," Juneau said during the taped call. "And he's only going to be there until 12, so please announce it."

The dispatcher then alerts Juneau that another inspector, who seems to be suspicious, was pressing taxi drivers for information.

"What's that guy, Trahan?... He pulled over 238 last night, wanting to know about who was the guy we go to at the inspection station," another recording reveals. "And 238 said I don't know what you're talking about."

The voice on the other end acknowledged that's "exactly what to tell them."

While United was targeted in the nearly two year investigation, sources say drivers of other companies are believed to have also taken part in the kickback scheme.

More arrests are likely to come.

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