The school board imposed a two-year ban on councilman Shahin Khalique’s family school bus company on Wednesday night citing “performance.”
A-1 Elegant Tours of Summit will not be able to bid on student transportation contracts for the 2018-19 and 2019-2020 school year, according to school officials.
The school district initiated legal actions against the company for “performance” and “qualification” issues. A hearing was held before the Passaic County superintendent of schools to resolve the matter.
“At the hearing we were able to get a settlement,” said Robert Murray, the district’s chief attorney. “They’ve agreed not to have any busing contracts for two years.”
The firm owned by the councilman’s brother, Shelim Khalique, received millions of dollars in busing contracts over the past years. For example, in the 2016-17 school year, the company secured $1.58 million in contracts.
Last year, the company appeared on the verge of dominating student busing in the district. But at the same time, there were problems.
The bus company, which had the most routes in the 2016-17 school year, also had the most infractions for such things as lack of cameras on buses, drivers without commercial licenses, and no aides.
In the first months of the 2017-18 school year, A-1 Elegant Tours continued to lead other companies in racking up infractions and fines.
“A1 was number one in violations,” said school board member Emanuel Capers, chairman of the operations committee. “I began to peel back the onion on this. We can’t do business with these bad companies anymore.”
Khalique, owner of A-1 Elegant Tours, did not respond to a call for comment on Thursday morning.
Another Khalique family firm, American Star Transportation of Totowa, owned by Jwel Khalique, received new business from the district on Wednesday night.
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