A hearing to determine whether Lime Scooter should have its operating permit revoked is underway, but attorneys for the company have immediately voiced strong procedural concerns. The permit revocation hearing is the first of its kind in the city of San Diego.
“We have been asking the city for months for guidelines. It feels like we’re being set up for an unfair process,” said Lime’s lead attorney, Leslie Devaney.
Devaney is a former Assistant City Attorney with the city of San Diego.
Lime’s concerns seemed to take Administrative Hearing Officer Matthew Freeman by surprise. He immediately set at least one more day aside for testimony and convinced both sides to allow him 30-days to decide following the hearing. The city municipal code calls for a decision to be made in 10 days.
But the early moments of the hearing were highlighted by Devaney’s concerns over hearing guidelines.
“We don’t understand the process and charges against us. What violations are we defending? I need to know what we are defending,” said Devaney.
Previously, the city has claimed Lime violated geofencing rules set forth in city permit guidelines established in July. Scooter speeds must be limited to 8 mph in areas like beach boardwalks, Balboa Park and Petco Park. Other areas like the embarcadero and food plaza in Little Italy have a 3 mph speed limit.
At the hearing, the city is represented by two members of the Code Enforcement Division. They plan to call up to three witnesses, including officers with the San Diego Police Department.
“You can anticipate a robust cross-examination,” said Devaney.
Lime’s attorneys also presented a large binder. They say they held 85 exhibits and 500 pages.
The hearing officer immediately postponed the meeting until Thursday afternoon so he and the city representatives could review the documents.