AP NEWS

Bus Firm Hopes To Avoid Litigation With Crestwood

April 2, 2019

Rinehimer Bus Lines issued a statement explaining the company wishes “to avoid costly litigation” with the Crestwood School District and wants to resolve the current dispute “by continuing to provide safe and reliable transportation to the children and families of the district.”

The school district plans to end its current bus contract with Rinehimer after this school year, and the company says its deal should run through 2021.

“Rinehimer has notified the district and prospective vendors via letter that it will protect its contractual rights to the extent necessary,” the company in a statement issued by the Pugliese, Finnegan, Shaffer & Ferentino LLC law firm.

After state auditors in October found background clearances for some school bus drivers had expired, the school board terminated the bus contract, which costs $2.3 million a year. The board also suspended Superintendent Joseph Gorham and operations director Christopher Gegaris, and they resigned in January.

“Instead of working with Rinehimer to resolve the situation, the school district used it as a pretext for unilaterally terminating its busing contract with Rinehimer,” the company said.

Rinehimer corrected “the problems that the state audit detected in the school district’s files,” the company said, adding “all drivers received all relevant clearances without exception” and many of them “have provided reliable service for decades.”

School District Solicitor Jack Dean declined comment Monday on the Rinehimer statement. Dean said the state auditor general’s office is expected to officially release the Crestwood transportation audit this week.

Contact the writer:

mbuffer@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2073, @cvmikebuffer