Former bus driver pleads not guilty to endangering children

SIDNEY – A not guilty plea was entered this week for a former Sidney City Schools bus driver who has been charged with 16 counts of endangering children.

Attorney Andrew R. Pratt entered the not guilty plea for all of the 16 first degree misdemeanor charges on behalf of Madge Brown, 54.

A complaint about a bus driver was filed Oct. 6 with the Sidney Police Department by a parent of a student in the Sidney City Schools, Sidney Police Sgt. Rob Jameson reported. The complaint alleged the driver failed a drug test after transporting students to school. At the completion of the investigation and after consulting with the city of Sidney prosecutor, charges were filed.

Sidney City Schools had received complaints on the morning of Sept. 23 of erratic driving by one of its bus drivers, Jameson said. Upon observation of reasonable suspicion by Transportation Coordinator Joni Renner, Brown was immediately taken to Wilson Health for drug/alcohol testing and was suspended from driving any routes until the district received the test results.

Sidney City Schools received the results Sept. 30 and learned Brown was driving under the influence that morning, Jameson said. Brown will no longer drive a school bus for Sidney City Schools. Her positive drug/alcohol test results will be logged in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and she will no longer be able to hold a bus driver endorsement.

The Sidney City Schools Board of Education accepted her resignation at its Oct. 19 meeting.

A pretrial has been scheduled for 10:15 a.m. Nov. 9 in Sidney Municipal Court.