It's a fleet of 90 buses that covers the nearly 500-square-miles of the Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District. It can cost the school district several thousand dollars to keep their buses in compliance with state driving laws. Ronnie Zamora, communications and marketing director for the school district, said Brownsville man Victor Perez offered the school district a deal to inspect the buses for three dollars less than what it would pay at a shop. He adds the district did not know that Perez was not licensed to do the work.
"The (Department of Public Transportation) was investigating this person for some time and let us know that our buses (had) invalid stickers."
The school district had no choice but to ground the 66 buses that Perez had inspected. Zamora said the district paid him about $1,600. The cost savings the district was hoping for actually turned into a two-fold expense.
"We had all the buses re-inspected and DPS monitored the re-inspection back in February, Zamora said, and made sure they were in fact safe for our students." The school district paid about $1,900 dollars to re-inspect their vehicles. The ordeal happened months ago, but it was just last week that authorities tracked down Perez and his wife. We visited the location where Perez claimed to work at the time he was hired for the inspections. A manager told Action 4 News Perez no longer worked there and refused to comment any further on this case. LFCISD administrators want parents to know there were no incidents during the time that the buses were on the road without the proper inspections.
"Our buses are safe for the road to take students to and from everyday," Zamora said.