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Valley Cab Told to Prove Its Self-Insurance Plan Adequate

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Los Angeles city Transportation Commission on Thursday gave the embattled Valley Cab Co., now the San Fernando Valley’s only taxi franchisee, until Sept. 12 to demonstrate that it has an adequate self-insurance program.

The deadline was set following a series of questions from the commission staff and rival taxi firms about the credibility of a financial statement Valley Cab was required to submit to the state Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain approval of its self-insurance plan.

The DMV on Wednesday informed city officials that it would reject Valley Cab’s self-insurance plan unless the financial statement is signed by a state-licensed accountant.

That statement attests to the value of the firm’s assets that could be tapped to cover accident claims.

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It was initially unsatisfactory to the DMV because it was signed by a Van Nuys resident, Robert J. Bordeleau, whose certified public accountant’s license had expired in 1986, said Ken Cude, head of the taxi regulatory unit of the city’s Department of Transportation.

However, Bordeleau flew to Sacramento early Thursday to renew his license with the state Board of Accountancy, Cude told transportation commissioners.

Cude told the commission that between now and its Sept. 12 hearing on the matter, Valley Cab must get DMV clearance for its self-insurance program and resolve related issues, including whether the firm should be allowed to maintain its self-insurance trust account in the name of a subsidiary in a Nevada bank.

The commission was not told at Thursday’s public hearing that Bordeleau also is a part-time driver for Valley Cab.

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His employment there was confirmed both by Cude and Lloyd Conway, the owner of Valley Cab.

Cude told reporters that he was not concerned that Bordeleau works as a Valley Cab driver.

Questions about Valley Cab’s customer service record and its compliance with various regulations have surfaced periodically since a Burbank-based firm, Babaeian Transportation Co., began lobbying City Hall to obtain a franchise in the Valley.

On June 12, the Los Angeles City Council agreed to seek bids from other cab firms for a second Valley franchise.

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Four firms, including Babaeian, submitted applications.

Scott Schaeffer, a Babaeian family employee, said Thursday that he has asked the Board of Accountancy to review Bordeleau’s application to renew his CPA license, in particular to determine if Bordeleau has fulfilled the board’s continuing education requirements.


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