ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is calling for the Lynx bus agency to review processes after a Local 6 investigation into Lynx records revealed drivers with multiple "preventable accidents" were allowed to keep their jobs, in some cases, even after their managers said they should be fired.
[RELATED: Local 6 investigates Lynx bus drivers]
The mayor released the statement calling for the review as Sharon Robinson, a grieving mother whose son was killed by a driver with a record of multiple preventable accidents, awaits Gov. Rick Scott to approve her $3.2 million settlement and after Robinson told Local 6 she wants Lynx to enact tougher termination policies.
"I continue to grieve the heartbreaking death of Matthew Robinson, and keep his entire family in my prayers," Jacobs said. "As a result of this tragic loss, I led our Lynx board in creating an oversight committee focused on strengthening a number of risk management procedures. Nothing will ever make the Robinson family whole again, but on their behalf, and for the benefit of Lynx as an organization, I will be asking for a full review of current processes, despite the fact that at least some of these driver reinstatements may have been part of a collective-bargaining process."
Lynx released public records Tuesday showing that 145 drivers had at least one preventable accident over the last two years, with two dozen of those drivers having more than one preventable accident. Attorney Matt Morgan of Morgan and Morgan told Local 6 his firm has represented numerous clients injured by Lynx and was surprised that Lynx keeps drivers with multiple preventable accidents on the job.
"That's shocking to me," Morgan said. "If a driver had one preventable accident that caused injury, that driver needs to be terminated."
Lynx CEO John Lewis defended his agency's safety record and his decision to give drivers with multiple preventable accidents a last chance instead of following through with their managers' letters firing them.
"Our goal is perfection," Lewis said. "I don't want any incidents or accidents that go on, but when we operate over 6 million miles a year things are going to happen, and we'll address those through training."
Jacobs, who serves as a member of a board of directors that oversees Lynx and its CEO, is expected to attend a board meeting Wednesday afternoon. On the agenda is a notification to the board of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of settlements the agency paid out this year alone -- on top of the $3.2 million Robinson family's settlement awaiting the governor's approval.
Local 6 will be at the meeting to see if Jacobs discusses her call for Lynx to review its processes with the rest of the board.
Check back for updates on this developing story.