School bus driver hired despite record

NILES – A bus driver who was placed on suspension after an elementary school student was left sleeping on a parked school bus had numerous offenses on his driving record prior to being hired by the school district.

According to a driver history record provided by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Gary M. Brian, 62, had 14 driving offenses between 1995 and 2010. The Niles School District hired him as a bus driver in 2009.

Offenses include multiple speeding convictions as well as improper signaling, failure to control, operating unsafe vehicle, passing in violation of a posted sign or pavement marking, and violation of a traffic control device or sign, according to state Motor Vehicles records.

Interim Superintendent Frank Danso said he was not aware of the convictions on Brian’s driving record and was not the acting superintendent when Brian was hired.

Danso said a full background check is performed on all school district employees prior to their employment and pending approval by the board. He said he could not confirm whether the former superintendent or board members were aware of Brian’s driving record when he was hired.

Former superintendent Rocco Adduci, now the principal of LaBrae High School, declined comment.

Former superintendent Mark Robinson said he recalled Brian being one of three drivers hired the year before he took the position of superintendent following Adduci.

“All bus drivers in Ohio have drug and alcohol checks before they are hired,” Robinson said. ”I would think that the driving record would have been looked into at the employment time.”

Danso said if official documentation affirming Brian’s driving offenses is presented to him or the board, district attorneys would have to review the information to determine what affect it may or may not have on his employment.

About two weeks ago, an elementary school child was found sleeping on a bus inside the bus garage after the other children had been taken home. The driver was unaware of the child and had already left the garage when workers inside the garage found the child, according to reports.