PHILADELPHIA. Ronald Blount, the controversial head of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania, faced his old nemesis at the Philadelphia Parking Authority Thursday and won an appeal stemming from allegations that he assaulted a passenger in 2008 after she tried to pay with a credit card.
Blount was found not guilty by a Court of Common Pleas jury last October, but the PPA still threatened to suspend or revoke his license based on the charges. Instead, Blount likely faces a $250 fine for failure to accept a credit card.
Blount’s supporters claim the PPA was simply trying to silence the vocal union leader, who has opposed the current credit card system that charges drivers a 5 percent processing fee.
“They want to make this industry voiceless,” said Mohammed Shohel, vice president of the Alliance. “This is intentional. All the statements are false.”
PPA officials said they will meet with Blount after his latest acquittal.
“We’ve said…if he were exonerated of those charges, we would meet with him, but that’s not going to happen until we see the actual opinion,” said Jim Ney, director of PPA’s Taxi and Limousine Division.
Hearing Officer Alfred Marroletti heard testimony from Blount, accuser Megan Saunders and the PPA inspector who issued citations to Blount for the incident. In the end, he found Saunders’ account hard to believe.
“I think Ms. Saunders overreacted,” Marroletti said. “I don’t view [Blount] and what he told us to be a man that would [do this] kind of stupid violence.”