Driven to the edge

An open secret

When he was head of the Boston Police Department’s hackney unit, a job he left in early 2010, then-Lieutenant Robert Ciccolo, acknowledged what is an open secret in the city’s taxi industry. Fraud and abuse, including the overcharging of drivers, is “significant."


A hard line on one small owner

Officials say they cannot recall a time when they have revoked a taxi medallion from its owner. But in June 2007, surprisingly, it looked like that may happen. Medallion owner Sheila Corbin complained that the man who was managing her licenses had "negligently and willfully failed to report accidents, fill out required insurance accident reports in a timely fashion, and deliberately hired drivers that were reckless." As a result, Corbin said her insurance rates skyrocketed by $30,000. She took Morrill, a Massachusetts state trooper, to court.

When she appeared in Suffolk Superior Court, she found also in attendance then-Lieutenant Robert Ciccolo, who carried a blunt message she was not prepared for. He was ready to strip her of her taxi licenses. As a result, Corbin dropped the suit. She said she suspects Ciccolo’s hard line in court had to do with Morrill’s employment with the State Police.


Independent Taxi Operators v. Morrill

One multiple license holder, Paul Morrill, a long-time friend of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, allegedly embezzled $200,000 as treasurer of the Independent Taxi Operators Association, according to ITOA officials at the time. When board members confronted Morrill the morning after he allegedly tried disposing of the company business records overnight in 2002, he was arrested for trespassing and led out of the company’s Albany Street headquarters in handcuffs, according to witnesses and court records. The Suffolk district attorney chose not to pursue the trespassing charge and embezzlement allegations. But Morrill quietly settled the civil suit by paying ITOA $40,000, the Globe has learned.

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