City approves convicted felon as Lyft driver

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - The Mitchell City Council has approved a Lyft driver application for a man convicted of attempted murder and aiding kidnapping. But, it's unclear whether the man will ever drive for the ride-hailing service because of its prohibition against drivers with felony and violent crime convictions.

At least one council member expressed safety concerns for anyone using Joseph Novak's Lyft services. Novak told the council Tuesday night he was incarcerated for 15 years following a 1992 conviction and now works in Mitchell.

City attorney Justin Johnson told the council that Mitchell has no background check requirement in its ordinance and therefore had no recourse to deny the license application. Lyft's website says potential drivers must pass criminal background checks and are disqualified for felony crimes.

The Daily Republic reports Novak's application was unanimously approved.