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Published April 01, 2013, 09:28 PM

Devils Lake Police Chief denies taxi license; Devils Lake man cries foul, accuses discrimination

A Devils Lake man says the Chief of Police is discriminating against him by denying an application for a taxi driver's license because he is gay.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

A Devils Lake man says the Chief of Police is discriminating against him by denying an application for a taxi driver's license because he is gay.

Jimmie Robinson says he's being discriminated against because of his sexuality, but Devils Lake Police Chief Keith Schroeder says he denied the application for a taxi license due to his criminal record.

Jimmie: The first time was about three years ago I've applied, and I've applied annually since.

Jimmie Robinson says he meets the standard to be a taxi driver in Devils Lake. Devils Lake police chief Keith Schroeder disagrees and denied Robinson's application last week.

Schroeder: "The determination is based purely on what the ordinance sets forth."

Robinson says the applications were denied because he is openly gay but Schroeder denies that claim, instead citing Robinson's rap sheet.

Schroeder: "I have no understanding of what his sexuality may or may not be and therefore can't make that determination based on that...My review of Mr. Robinson's criminal history shows several offenses over the last several years, and that's what my decision was based on. All of those combined, it paints the picture."

Robinson says he hasn't had a criminal incident in years and nothing serious enough to deny him a taxi license.

Robinson: "There's a total of seven things. There are two traffic violations, three issuing checks with a lack of funds and a theft of service charge."

Adam: He says Schroeder denied his license because he simply doesn't like his lifestyle.

Jimmie: "A number of people have approached me and said that he said some less than flattering things about me, such as I'm not a trustworthy person."

But the Police Chief says that is "totally false and fictitious."

Robinson will go before the Devils Lake city commission two weeks from today to appeal the police chief's decision and hopefully get his taxi license. While there is a possibility of legal action resulting from this situation it's a bit tricky, because sexuality isn't protected by discrimination laws in North Dakota. Still, Robinson says he does have a lawyer and they are disussing their options.

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