'I'd stake my life on it': Mechanic denies handing out false school bus certificates

A mechanic charged with not doing proper inspections says he'll fight the tickets, saying the buses all received the proper inspections

Executive Tax, O'Reilly's Service Station facing a total of 8 charges

Executive Taxi and an official inspector have been charged under the Highway Traffic Act after bus inspection certificates were allegedly displayed without actual inspections having taken place. (CBC)

A mechanic charged with handing out false bus inspection certificates says he doesn't know why he's being charged, and plans to fight the tickets handed out by ServiceNL.

Rendell O'Reilly owns O'Reilly's Service Station in Tors Cove. He's facing seven charges after inspectors found problems with buses owned by Executive Taxi.

It alleges the certificates issued for those buses were completed without inspections, but O'Reilly insists all the buses were inspected.

"I'd stake my life on it, 100 per cent," he told CBC News.

O'Reilly said he's been in the business for 40 years and can't believe the charges.

He wouldn't comment further until he talks to a lawyer, but he plans to fight the charges.

Not the first problems for Executive Taxi

Executive Taxi has been charged with one count of displaying a vehicle inspection certificate that was issued without a proper inspection being carried out.

The tickets were handed out after an investigation by Service NL's Highway Enforcement Branch, and the issues first came to light over the summer.

Service NL said the discrepancy between the number of charges between the company and the inspector was because it could only be proven that Executive Taxi knowingly displayed one certificate falsely.

Executive Taxi had its busing contract suspended last year after nine of its buses were taken off the road for failing inspections.

Both the company and the inspector have until Oct. 18 to contest the tickets, or pay the associated fines.

School board reviewing options

The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District is reviewing the charges with Executive Taxi and hasn't decided what action to take.

"We need to review and understand the magnitude of what we're dealing with here," Terry Hall, the assistant director of education for finance and student transportation, said in an interview.

"These buses weren't carrying kids this year because they were removed before we even started the school year."

Hall said that meant there was no impact on busing for students.

Executive Taxi can put the buses back in service after the mechanical issues are fixed and the buses are inspected by a different licensed service station.