Stuck in Neutral

Seven On Your Side
November 5, 2010 10:36:57 AM PDT
The Staten Island chauffeur has ferried around big time athletes and movie stars. But now, he says he's grounded, because of bizarre case of mistaken identity. But after months of trying to clear it up on his own, he asked 7 On Your Side to help him get back in the drivers seat. From Robert Downey Jr. to Darryl Strawberry, Anthony Martinez is a celebrity chauffeur of sorts. "I love it. It's my livelihood. It's what I get my joy out of," says the Staten Island chauffeur.

But since April, the only people Anthony's been driving around are his daughter and son.

Late last year, Anthony had his chauffeur's license suspended because of too many points on his drivers license. As a result, his application for a new TLC license was denied. But the biggest problem?

The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission said Anthony was a wanted man, after a 2 year old disorderly conduct charge from Putnam County, popped up on his record.

Anthony Martinez shares a last name with the guy on the outstanding warrant but their first names are different. So are their birth dates - heights, weights - even eye colors.

Anthony says he's never been arrested, and has never been to Putnam County where the warrant was issued. But he went there, then back to the TLC several times, still, couldn't get the case of mistaken identity cleared.

"They tell me that there's nothing that they can do about it," said Mr. Martinez.

So, we appealed to the TLC, which called on the warrant and was able to clear Anthony's name.

With no more roadblocks in the way he can hit the road and cruise back to the job he loves.

The TLC told us the problem was started with records given to them by New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. They said since the birth dates and names were similar, they needed a clearance letter from Putnam County. They apologized to Mr. Martinez for the mix-up. Mr. Martinez isn't out of the woods yet, he still has a fitness hearing scheduled December 1, to get his license back.