ShareThis Page

State audit finds 2 Penn Hills bus drivers with criminal convictions

Theresa Clift
| Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, 12:30 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Auditor General's Office found that school districts used 10 bus drivers who should have been banned from transporting students because of criminal convictions, including two in Penn Hills.

Penn Hills had one bus driver with a felony drug conviction and one with an aggravated assault conviction, the state audit found.

The district had both drivers removed from their roles of transporting students when it learned of the convictions from the auditor general's office, Penn Hills School District spokeswoman Teresita Kolenchak said. The district terminated its contract with the bus company, Kittanning-based A.J. Myers and Sons, at the end of the fiscal year.

The school board voted in May 2016 to prohibit the company from bidding on district contracts, Kolenchak said.

“When the information was brought to our attention, the district took immediate action and had both drivers removed,” Kolenchak said.

William Myers, president of A.J. Myers and Sons, was not available to comment.

The company provides bus service for other districts in the region, an employee said.

In addition to the criminal convictions, the state audit found 11 drivers did not have evidence of a valid driver's license, proof that they completed school bus driver skills and safety training or evidence that they passed a physical examination, the auditor general's office said in a news release. Another five drivers were missing criminal history clearances, preventing the district from determining if they were suitable to transport students, the release said.

Auditors focused on the Lancaster School District, where they found 21 of 132 bus drivers as of June had failed to meet at least one employment requirement, the release said.

“Protecting the safety of students must be a top priority for every single school in the state,” Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said in the release. “It is outrageous that my team found bus drivers with criminal records that — by law — should have precluded them from driving students.”

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, or via Twitter @tclift.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me