CLEVELAND – The Investigator, Tom Meyer, led state police right to the man accused of running a scheme that helped put dangerous drivers without licenses back behind a wheel.
It was a story that you could have only seen on Action News.
Action News led state investigators to Elvin Blair, who they said operated a scheme that put bad, reckless and dangerous drivers back on the roads that you travel.
One of the drivers that he helped out was Eronimo Peterson. Peterson had little to say when The Investigator confronted him, but his records show that he has so many past violations that his driver's license has been suspended twice.
"What you're trying to do is make something out of nothing," Peterson said.
Peterson tried to downplay the issue despite the fact that he was busted for drunken driving last year.
Peterson and many other drivers like him got back on the road illegally thanks to Blair, who worked for the Sears Driving School at Randall Park Mall.
"We were surprised as anybody when it was first brought to our attention," Sears spokesman Todd Goldberg said.
Action News has learned that Blair cut his own private deals with bad and unsafe drivers.
"They were usually repeat offenders, repeat DUI offenders, people with disregard for safety," Bureau of Motor Vehicles spokesman Mike Russo said.
When problem drivers showed up at Sears, Blair walked them a short distance to the mall where he slipped them phony driving certificates for $70 to $95. He did it with at least 200 problem drivers and probably more.
A convicted killer who was just released from prison even got a driving certificate, and Action News was told that about half of the bogus documents went to convicted drunken drivers, including Peterson.
It's not the first time Action News has exposed this type of fraud. Andrew Spero and his Drive-Rite Driving School in Euclid worked with insurance broker Tim Budic to issue up to 1,000 fake certificates.
Budic, who refused to talk to The Investigator, and Spero were busted but got no jail time, just probation.
In the latest case, Blair skipped his only court appearance. When Action News hunted him down, The Investigator called investigators from the state BMV and the Ohio Highway Patrol, who then hauled him off to jail on felony charges.