Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
November 16, 2018 - LARA’s Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau (CSCL) issued a cease and desist order against Jason William Leski individually or under the name “Gaias Transportation” (respondent) in St. Clair Shores, for operating as a transportation company without having registered with LARA or obtaining the insurance as required under Michigan’s Limousine, Taxicab, and Transportation Network Company Act; and for personally operating a limousine, taxicab, or personal vehicle to provide transportation network company (TNC) prearranged rides while he is listed on the national sex offender registry database, contrary to the act. The order is effective immediately. LARA has also made a criminal referral to appropriate law enforcement authorities.
“All transportation providers including taxicab and limousine services must operate lawfully, and that includes obtaining a certificate of registration from LARA and annually conducting local and national criminal background checks on its owners and drivers,” said CSCL Director Julia Dale. “Our bureau will take appropriate regulatory actions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Consumers should always ask to see proof of a carrier’s State of Michigan registration to operate and verify the driver’s credentials prior to using that carrier’s services.”
The Cease and Desist Order prohibits the respondent from operating as a transportation company under the act, until a certificate of registration from LARA is obtained and notifies the respondent of the right to request a hearing within 30 days in response to the Order. If LARA does not receive a timely request for a hearing, then the Order becomes final. If a hearing is not requested, within 60 days of the Order becoming final, the respondent must submit to LARA an affidavit attesting that he is no longer personally operating a limousine, taxicab, or personal vehicle to provide TNC prearranged rides while he is listed on the national sex offender registry and pay a fine of $226.64 to LARA.
A limousine carrier, taxicab carrier, or TNC or an officer or agent of any of the three who requires or knowingly permits a driver to drive or operate a limo, taxicab, or personal vehicle to provide TNC prearranged rides in violation of the law is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 per violation or imprisonment for not more than 90 days or both. LARA may also assess a fine against the respondent for violating the Act that covers the actual cost to the department of the investigation and enforcement of the violations, including attorney fees. If a limousine carrier, taxicab carrier, or transportation network company violates a cease and desist order issued by the department, the attorney general may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to restrain and enjoin, temporarily or permanently, that limo carrier, taxicab carrier, or transportation network company from further violating the cease and desist order.
The Limousine, Taxicab, and Transportation Network Company Act (PA 345), which became effective March 21, 2017, established regulations for TNCs, moved the regulation of taxicab carriers from local to state jurisdiction, and moved the regulation of limousine carriers (less than eight passengers) from the Michigan Department of Transportation to LARA. Michigan joined more than three dozen states that have similar laws in place.