Ithaca Blog

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Prominent Criminal Cases Closed

Two of the most publicized criminal cases in Ithaca this year ended this week with guilty pleas and sentencing.

Yesterday, a driver for the Green Hornet livery service was sentenced to a year in prison and a year's probation for selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer posing as a passenger.

Today, Alexander Atkind, who was living in Ithaca as a Cornell undergraduate, pled guilty to abuse of a dog that was in his care. Atkind was sentenced to six months in prison, five years probation, psychiatric evaluation, and a $5,000 fine.

Initial community outrage in the Green Hornet case, focused on a cab driver selling drugs, was mollified by the Ithaca Blog report that Green Hornet is not a cab company, but a livery company.

Cab companies in Ithaca are regulated and licensed by the police, and drivers receive background checks. Livery services receive no police licensing. They are considered by state regulation to be in the category of delivery services rather than cab services.

A livery service in Ithaca is allowed to transport passengers from inside the city limits to outside the city limits, but not to a destination within the city, a privilege that is reserved for regulated cab companies.

The Green Hornet case revealed that this prohibition is easily ignored. But Ithaca Blog made note of the difference, and alerted other local media to it, so that Ithacans would know they should avoid livery services if the reputation and criminal status of the business owners and drivers are important to them.

Accordingly, the Ithaca Journal has ceased referring to Green Hornet as a cab company.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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