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Paterson School Bus Firm Used Unqualified Drivers In Newark: Prosecutor

A Paterson school bus company with routes in Newark, Jersey City and elsewhere employed drivers without proper credentials in Newark, authorities said.
A Paterson school bus company with routes in Newark, Jersey City and elsewhere employed drivers without proper credentials in Newark, authorities said. Photo Credit: File photo

A Paterson-based school bus company that has routes in Newark is under investigation for alleged safety violations, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday.

The prosecutor’s office executed a search warrant at the headquarters of A-1 Elegant Friday afternoon. Essex County personnel were seen at the headquarters of A-1 Elegant hauling off filing cabinets, boxes and other material, NorthJersey.com reported.

Authorities say several of the drivers lacked credentials to operate a school bus. A spot inspection in Newark Friday morning revealed that eight drivers, more than half investigators detained, were not qualified, the prosecutor’s office said.

Two of the drivers and an aide also had open warrants for their arrest and were taken into custody, the prosecutor’s office said.

The company is owned by Shelim Khalique, brother of Paterson councilman Shahim Khalique, NorthJersey.com reported. It has contracts with school districts in Jersey City, Newark, and Passaic, along with the Essex County Educational Services Commission and the South Bergen Jointure Commission.

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, the Motor Vehicle Commission, Newark police and the State Police are all assisting in the ongoing investigation. 

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