The owner of Old School of Driving in Rio Rancho received a six-month suspension after a hearing found that he violated state laws and driver education regulations.  

The New Mexico Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Division held a hearing Jan. 19, following an investigation stemming from complaints from students and parents who used Old School of Driving in Rio Rancho. At that time, the division recommended a six-month suspension of the school as well as the owner’s licenses and certifications. 

The hearing officer on Tuesday determined that the school’s owner, Francisco Saenz, violated several driver education school rules. 

In a press release Tuesday, the DOT said: 

  • Saenz’ actions and behavior with students were not “conducive to the physical, mental safety or health of a student.”
  • His conduct was unethical, including, but not limited to, verbal abuse or intimidation of students.
  • He failed to comply with regulations to act in a professional and courteous manner as an instructor.
  • He made phone calls during driving instructions. 

The suspension will take effect April 1 and end Oct. 1.  

The Observer contacted Saenz, who said he was unaware of the suspension. 

NMDOT Safety Division Modal Director Franklin Garcia said the decision had been sent to Saenz’ attorneys on Monday.

NMDOT Safety Division oversees and licenses driver education schools and instructors across the state. An attempt was made to contact NMDOT Traffic Safety Division Staff Manager LeAnn Adams, but she could not be reached.