My Maine Ride owner owes OSHA $9,000 in fines for safety violations

Posted Feb. 20, 2014, at 12:49 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 20, 2014, at 6:10 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The owner of a local used car dealership owes $9,000 in overdue fines to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration for workplace safety violations in 2012 and 2013, according to government documents.

The release of information by OSHA about businesses owned by Glenn A. Geiser Jr., 48, of Brewer added to a growing list of regulatory and legal actions taken against the owner of My Maine Ride.

Files obtained from OSHA through a freedom of information request by the Bangor Daily News include complaints about Geiser’s current business, My Maine Ride, and his two previous businesses, Bumper2Bumper and Bangor Car Care. The documents show the safety violations at the businesses were corrected, but most of the fines were not paid.

Geiser also faced criminal charges in Penobscot County over the use of counterfeit inspection stickers and is the subject of a civil lawsuit filed by the Maine attorney general’s office alleging unfair trade practices. The used car dealer on Wednesday agreed to a 180-day suspension of his business license beginning March 1 imposed by the secretary of state’s office. On Thursday, he pleaded no contest through his attorney to 28 counts of using counterfeit inspection stickers and paid a $7,000 fine.

OSHA inspectors visited Geiser’s businesses in 2011 and 2012 after complaints were reported to the agency by one former and one current employee in the respective years. The 2013 inspection was a followup to the 2012 complaint, according to the files.

The Jan. 5, 2011, inspection of Bangor Car Care at 617 Wilson St. in Brewer found a minor violation that was corrected, according to information in the files obtained from OSHA.

An inspector visited Bumper2Bumper at 170 Washington St. in Bangor on March 5, 2012. The owner was fined $2,400 for not having guards installed on the pedestal drill press, according to OSHA files. Geiser paid all but $1,000 of that fine.

An inspector conducted a follow-up inspection on March 21, 2013, at the Washington Street business, the name of which had changed to My Maine Ride, according to OSHA files.

The drill press was guarded, but a number of new citations were issued April 1. The violations and proposed penalties were:

— No eye flushing station where employees removed and installed batteries, $1,600.

— No protection safety guards on a bench grinder, $2,400.

— No work rest on the grinder, $1,600.

— No guard on the pneumatic grinder, $2,400.

The violations were corrected, according to OSHA files. Geiser agreed informally to a settlement offer that would have reduced the $8,000 fine to $5,760, but Geiser never signed the agreement, according to information in the file. Because of that, the fine reverted to the original $8,000.

Geiser did not make any payments toward the fine, and the matter, along with the $1,000 he owes on the 2012 fine, was referred to OSHA’s debt collection service within the U.S. Department of Treasury, Chris Pelkey, program assistant in the Bangor OSHA office said Thursday.

If efforts to obtain payment are unsuccessful, the Department of Treasury could attach money owed to him by the government, including taking it out of Geiser’s income tax return under certain circumstances, according to Ted Fitzgerald, Regional Director for Public Affairs with the U.S. Department of Labor, which oversees OSHA.

As of Thursday, OSHA officials had not been informed of any payments or attachments related to Geiser’s fines, Fitzgerald said in an email.

Efforts to reach Geiser on Thursday were unsuccessful. Staff at My Maine Ride referred a request for information to attorneys Joseph Baldacci and Joseph Sullivan of Bangor. Baldacci said Wednesday that his office is not handling the OSHA matter.

Information about filing a complaint with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration is available at www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/complain.html

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