Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Paul Makaveckas and Bill Hancock Expected in Court This Week

Hey drivers, the SF Chronicle is reporting that former SF Taxi Detail police officer Paul Makeveckas and former Flag-A-Cab Taxi School instructor Bill Hancock are expected in court this week.  They're both being charged with accepting bribes in exchange for giving would be cab drivers passing grades on their city taxi license tests.

According to the article in SF Gate, Makaveckas was charged Wednesday with four counts of bribery.  He pleaded not guilty and is out on a $160,000 bail.

Bill Hancock, according to the article, was arrested Tuesday in Marin County on three counts of bribery for allegedly acting as the middleman between cab drivers and Makaveckas.  Wow!  I remember taking Hancock's class.  He gave us free food.

And according to this new website called the Bay Citizen, they are both expected to appear in court Thursday, December 2.

I have mixed feelings about Makaveckas.  On the one hand, he was always good to me, and had a likable personality.  On the other hand, I saw him do something once that was less than professional and he tried to get me involved in it, but I won't go into the details.  It wasn't a bribe, but it wasn't too cool.  I guess we'll follow the updates.

The Bay Citizen, on the other hand, is a recently founded news organization devoted to reporting civic and community issues in the San Francisco Bay area.  Read their article on Makaveckas here.


  1. I always found these claims about Makeveckas taking money for passing grades completely unbelievable. I took his eight hour class and he was great. At the risk of implicating myself, nobody needed to pay him anything to pass because he made sure everybody passed. In other words, he would give away the answers for free if students needed them.

    He had a kind heart and was always friendly and helpful to me and everybody else I witnessed.

    And no, I'm not getting paid to say this.


  2. I share your sentiments generally, Erik. However, if he's the same guy that I think he is, tall and lanky, African American/Native American..., "Johnnie Dangerous" ? Sometimes I didn't quite get the humor.

    On the other hand, he was funny, and, yes, it does come as a surprise that someone had to "bribe" him. There does seems to be something a little off about this entire story. Or, if not, it turns out that 'Johnnie Dangerous' was indeed that!

    In any case, it seems this story stands in for the metaphor for how the taxi industry seems to be. I wish him well...

    P.S. I'm getting paid...

  3. I too as many of you took Bill Hancocks class. I have been driving for 6 years under the impression from information from the class that we are covered by car insurance while driving a taxi in San Francisco. I currently work for a company that does not insure the drivers because the city only mandates liability insurance. I went to the SFMTA and my supervisor in my district (no real help). I hear a lot of hype about other issues that are for the good. What about making sure all taxi drivers are covered by insurance and uninsured motorist while driving on San Francisco streets serving the community, because currently not all drivers are covered by insurance. In fact one company has drivers sign away their right to Workers Compensation. How can this be legal where is the help from the SFMTA in enforcement. Its wonderful to up the expectations of drivers, but lets assess what the driver is getting before we up those expectations. I seen the effort for hotel workers years ago where they were going to lose their health benefits and the city stepped in to help fight for those benefits. Yet Taxi drivers have no health care, no retirement, and no guaranteed wage. In my eyes kind of hypocritical. We are humans driving these cabs and not machines with families that need health insurance, and coverage in case we are involved in an accident.

    In Addition, penalizing taxi drivers at the airport that are underpaid and work long hours is ridiculous.

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