He's the biggest taxi boss in town and she purports to lead the taxi driver's' union . He actually oversees four taxi fleets with 880 medallion taxis under his management.
Ms. Desai's claim to too bigedness is based on her having abandoned the fight against Mike Bloomberg's taxi agenda which is popular with the general public but if it is not stopped spells the end of taxi driving as a means to earn a survival income. Strange for a union leader to take such a stance but Desai leads a make believe media conjured union. She does not answer to taxi drivers. There is her anticipated receipt of $15 millions annually resulting from billionaire (former) mayor Bloomberg' decision to bludgeon the borderline impoverished taxi drivers and bleed them just a little bit every day. Only a dollar or two. This money is to go to Ms. Desai's make believe benefit fund. The media then calls this the taxi driver union and runs to Ms. Desai or her designated stand in for all taxi related sound bites.
Friedman is and has been a nemesis of Bloomberg and coincidentally subject of accusations of cheating his drivers out of $770000. The Taxi Commissioner got on Friedman's case so Friedman while not admitting to the charges is disgorging the $770000 plus a $500000) fine.
What impresses me is the fact that he continues to manage 880 medallions. Stealing $770000 in whatever small increments is some sort of a felony I would imagine. Desai claims it was her members who turned Friedman in. You cannot imagine the courage doing that would entail for someone trying to feed a family by driving a fleet taxi. I almost don't believe this could have happened without some sort of assurances.
Desai is facing me at least. I have filed a Notice of Claim against The City demanding the six cents per ride tax be rescinded andv refunded. Her benefit fund was a scam from day one, a political payoff for a betrayal of her mostly make believe members. A tax not passed by any legislator nor signed by any governor even if it is only against taxi drivers won't stand.
Just as Friedman has landed on his feet so far Desai will find a way or one will be found for her.