- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2016

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) - The owner of a taxicab company in Devils Lake is taking issue with the inclusion of a “moral character” clause in the city’s updated taxi licensing ordinance.

Katie Linjatie believes drivers should be licensed if they pass a drug test and have a clean criminal record, and that including “good moral character” as a required condition gives the police chief too much power.

“He can just deny anybody,” Linjatie said.

City officials would have to “demonstrate specifically” how someone was not of good moral character to deny a license, according to Police Chief Keith Schroeder.

“We can’t just say, ‘No, I don’t like that guy, I’m not going to grant him a license,’” he said.

Schroeder also said the moral character language isn’t unique to Devils Lake.

“There were some sections that were added (to the ordinance) that specifically covered that, but they were nothing that we made up,” he said. “It was something that other cities had adopted … Jamestown, Grand Forks, Fargo and Mandan.”

The City Commission this week unanimously adopted the updated ordinance, the Devils Lake Journal reported (https://bit.ly/26X5qhO ).

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Information from: Devils Lake Journal, https://www.devilslakejournal.com

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