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NEWARK Yellow Cab, which once operated 26 vehicles and provided 220,000 rides a year in the Newark area, may have been operatinginthe red and making its drivers and dispatchers feel blue in the process.

The owner, Jerry Williams, said on Thursday that Yellow Cab has closed, but may return in some form, possibly providingmedical transportation.

Five people who worked for Yellow Cab last yearsaid they are owed a combined total of about $15,000, and have given up on ever being compensated for their work.

Williams, said it became too difficult to find quality drivers who can pass a drug test. He denied he owes money to anyoneand saidseveral drivers still owe him money.

Greg Moore, a manager who left last June, said, “He owes people thousands of dollars, including myself. It was sporadic in pay. My wife and I both worked there. With both of us not getting paid regularly, I just couldn’t stay.”

The business suspended operations in September for a few daysthen closed permanently just before Christmas, Williams said. It operated as many as 10 cabs at one point last year, but only had a few drivers left in September.

“The last couple months, it just fell apart, with all the issues with the drivers,” Williams said. “We wrote checks to the manager and they paid the bills. They disperse the money. They have total control because they have all the money.”

Terri Wilsonworked for Yellow Cab and Williams Transportation from 2009 to 2017, and as a driver, dispatcher and assistant manager last year. Shesaid Williams owes her about $5,000 and there are about 13 to 20 people owed about $1,000 each.

“He doesn’t make checks out to people,” Wilson said. “He makes them out to cash. I’d pay each person whatever he wrote down on paper, and it was never the full amount.

“He’d pay people $50 to $100 a week to keep them happy, when he owed them about $400 to $700.”

Wilson, who now works for fledgling Safe Cab Co.,said she was supposed to collect her salary, and pay dispatchers and drivers, from the cashed checks.

“If he wrote checks on Friday, he wanted me to wait until Tuesday to cash it, because it’d bounce.”

Philip Johns, who worked for Yellow Cab for about three years, said he’s owed about $6,500. He left in September and now works at MPW.

Johns said Williams usually said he didn’t have any money to pay people.

“The first time he said he’d pay us next week, a couple people quit,” Johns said. “It was, all the time, he don’t have any money.”

Johns said an attorney told him there’s nothing he can do to get his money.

“He said it’d be four to five years before we’d ever get a judgment, and he still doesn’t have to pay,” Johns said. “I’d love to get paid, but he’s not going to pay anybody.”

Yellow Cab of Newark has been behind on its taxes owed to the Ohio Department of Taxation, with Licking County Common Pleas Court listing judgments for Commercial Activity Tax of more than $4,000 on Oct. 21, Oct. 29, Dec. 23 and Jan. 1.

Williams said Yellow Cab has been out of business since 2010 and operated asWilliams Transportation since.

Wilson’s assertion that the checks were not sufficient to pay everybody is not accurate, Williams said.

“That’s not true,” Williams said. “I know Terri has been paid. She cashed checks. She’s a very disgruntled person. We had to let her go.”

Wilson said paying bills was a continual problem, with electricity shut off almost every month before paying a reconnect fee, water shut off numerous times, bed bugs in the office because he wouldn’t pay an exterminator, and lawn care workers not paid.

“He’ll change the name of the company, billing wise, so he doesn’t have to pay all his bills,” Wilson said. “I put tires on cars out of my pocket. I paid to plow the lot of snow.”

Moore, who preceded Wilson as manager, said the inconsistent pay was a problem at Yellow Cab for a long time.

“Even the old manager I replaced (eight years ago) left because of this, because she couldn’t get paid,” Moore said. “This goes all the way back. It happened back when they had money.”

Adding to the confusion this week,Facebook postsTuesday andWednesday by George Peters, stated, “Yellow Cab is open. George Peters is driving,” and gives a phone number to call.

City of Newark Safety Director Steve Baum said it appears Yellow Cab is out of business.

“They don’t have a license because they didn’t renew it,” Baum said. “We sent them a letter and got no response. If they are operating, they’re operating without a license and without demonstrating proof of insurance to the city.

“Safe Cab is the only company that has provided proper documentation to be operating in the city of Newark at this time.”
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