Portland officials have suspended the operating licenses of a taxicab driver and his company over allegations that the man verbally harassed two women in early May.

Abderrahim Lembarra was ordered last week to surrender his taxi driver’s license as well as the business license of his company, Gorham-based Yellow Cab LLC, for 30 days after a hearing officer found “adequate reason to believe the complaint … that your conduct was un-courteous, unprofessional and harassing,” according to a letter sent to Lembarra by Marion Oliver, a city hearing officer who reviewed the case. Lembarra has 30 days to appeal the decision. Lembarra and Yellow Cab were also fined $250 each.

The complainant, Amber Dorcus, has alleged that Lembarra tried to persuade her and a friend to get into his cab on the afternoon of May 3 in order to accompany a man already in his taxi. When Dorcus and the other woman refused, Lembarra allegedly persisted and then became extremely vulgar with the two women, according to a recap of the events that Dorcus posted on her blog.

Dorcus subsequently filed a formal complaint and the city issued two notices of violations – one against Lembarra and one against Yellow Cab – for unprofessional, discourteous and harassing behavior. Lembarra disputed Dorcus’ portrayal of the events, claiming in an interview with the city’s taxi inspector, Franklin Noiles, that a competitor cab company was behind the complaints.

The city held a hearing on the alleged violations on June 3. Oliver notified Lembarra of the decision by letter on June 18.

Lembarra’s attorney, Tom Douglas, declined to comment on the case when contacted Monday. Douglas said he was unsure whether Lembarra would appeal the 30-day suspension and fines.

Kevin Miller can be reached at 791-6312 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: KevinMillerPPH