September 3-10, 2007

Drive Clean service advisor fined $20K for falsifying emissions data

SCARBOROUGH, ONT-Merhawi Tekle was recently convicted of five charges relating to the submission of false Drive Clean inspection results to the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) and was fined $20,000, plus a victim fine surcharge. Teckle, an automotive service advisor at a service centre certified as an Ontario Drive Clean testing facility, came under MOE scrutiny following a review by Ministry staff of certain Drive Clean transactions that occurred in February and March 2005. An investigation revealed that he was taking money from individuals whose vehicles had not successfully completed a Drive Clean emissions test and in exchange used the information obtained from Drive Clean vehicle emission reports to help these individuals renew their licence plates. Tekle was charged with, and subsequently convicted of, five violations of the Environmental Protection Act. Three charges related to the submission of false or misleading information to the ministry, contrary to section 184(2) of the Act, while the remaining two related to permitting the operation of a motor vehicle that is not in compliance with emissions standards, contrary to section 9(13.1) of the Act.

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