Austin case reignites debate over ride-hailing background checks

Nov 10, 2017
    Bob Sechler
Photo by Sam Hodgson/The New York Times

When Osmani Limonta Diaz applied to become a driver for ride-hailing nonprofit RideAustin, his criminal record looked clean. It gave no sign of the legal trouble he faces now.

Diaz is accused of raping a female passenger while working for RideAustin on June 10. He was formally charged on Oct. 13. Diaz, however, had passed fingerprint- and Social Security number-based background checks before being hired as a RideAustin driver, the nonprofit said.

The accusations against him have reignited a debate about how ride-hailing entities such as RideAustin, Uber and Lyft conduct background screenings for their drivers.

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