Oswego (WSYR-TV) - Threatened with a lawsuit, the city of Oswego is making some changes to a law banning convicted felons and sex offenders from driving cabs. New language in the law should prevent such challenges in the future.
After the city learned three cab drivers in the city had violent sexual assaults on their record, convicted felons and sex offenders have been banned from driving cabs in Oswego.
But the law was quickly challenged by an advocacy group for convicted felons.
In response, the state attorney general's office recommended the city make some changes to mirror article 23 of the state corrections law.
Monday night, the city council voted to revise the law to eliminate the “blanket ban.”
The revised law will become official when the mayor signs off on it, which is expected in the next few days.
When it goes into effect, allowing a convicted felon or sex offender to drive a cab will be at the discretion of the police chief, who will take a number of factors into consideration.
Jeremy Zielinski, founder of Workforce Advocacy Group, says, "We'll be monitoring very closely, obviously, to make sure that this isn't just for show, but we're hopeful that, that they will move forward from here and allow people that have completed their sentences to get on and re-integrate into society like they should be."
However, Councilman Michael Todd doesn't think the law goes far enough, not with college students and even young kids taking these cabs every week.
"I think it is our responsibility to act before something happens, rather than constantly trying to be reactionary after something happens,” Todd said.
The idea of a blanket ban won't die in council chambers. Todd says he's been working with some state lawmakers who may look to propose a statewide bill in Albany.