crime scene tape Rikard Larma / Metro

Five Massport employees will appear before a judge in East Boston District Court today for allegedly participating in a taxi scheme to givecab drivers at Logan Airport preferential treatment in exchange for bribes that included scratch tickets and cigarettes.

Kenneth Clement, 67, of Attleboro, Michael Garvey, 51, of Melrose, Vadim Mkrtychev, 37, of West Roxbury, Jaems Mulrey, 45, of Canton and Donald Potts, 47, of Medford, were arrested Tuesday, authorities said.

The employees worked for the Ground Transportation Unit and were known as cab starters. They allegedly allowed some cabs to skip theairport's taxi pool where cabs can wait for more than an hour before being dispatched to a terminal.

 

The group allegedly took bribes from cab drivers who drove right to the terminals to pick up passengers rather than wait in the pool. Authorities said the bribes the cab drivers paid were typically $20 or $40 cash and sometimes included scratch tickets or cigarettes.

Police conducted a months-long investigation that included interviews with cab drivers and secret recordings of the interactions.

“Working men and women shouldn’t have to grease someone’s palm just to make an honest living, but the defendants are accused of demanding just that,” said Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley. “At the same time, the taxi drivers who allegedly paid them off enjoyed a tremendous financial advantage over drivers who played honestly and by the rules. It’s not fair, and it won’t be tolerated.”

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

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