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The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) took administrative action Dec. 8 and entered into a settlement agreement to close DR’s (Donny Robertson’s) TLC Driving School with sites in Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Roswell and Ruidoso Downs for violations of state laws and regulations, according to NMDOT.
NMDOT, in a combined effort with the Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD) and the University of New Mexico Institute of Public Law, launched an investigation after learning of illegal practices conducted at the school.
“Upon learning of potential wrong-doing at the TLC Driving School, the department took decisive action to launch an investigation,” Transportation Secretary Gary L. J. Girón said.
When asked if he agrees with the state’s action, Robertson said during a telephone interview Monday, “I definitely do not but when the hearing officer works for the state, there’s nothing you can do – I had to hire a lawyer and settle with the state.”
MVD Director Michael Sandoval said that the Tax Fraud Investigations Division was very thorough in their examination of the documents presented to the Motor Vehicle Division.
As part of NMDOT’s investigation, violations were discovered including improper recordkeeping, use of uncertified instructors and inadequate training requirements, which did not meet current state regulations, the department stated in its release.
The parties agreed that DR’s TLC Driving School would cease all driving education in the state of New Mexico effective Dec. 30, and must turn in its licenses and all unused certificates of completion to the department’s Traffic Safety Bureau. In doing so, the school will have ample time to complete instruction with students currently enrolled in driver education courses.
The driving school will be responsible for arranging courses with other schools for any individuals with outstanding certificates, at no additional cost to the students.
In addition, Robertson will give up forever his right to own or operate a driving education school in New Mexico.
Included in the settlement, Robertson will be allowed to maintain his driver safety school and conduct defensive driving classes at the current approved locations.
Robertson said classes will start up again in Los Alamos sometime in January under new ownership at the Comfort Inn and Suites on Trinity Drive under the name, ABC Drivers Ed.