Auto repair

Troy auto repair shop owner sentenced in inspection scheme

TROY — The owner of an auto repair shop in Troy has been convicted of a misdemeanor for allowing vehicles to go through the state inspection process.

Pete’s Auto & Body issued inspection decals to vehicles that failed to meet state standards for operational safety and emissions, according to an investigation by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, which found referred the complaint to the State Inspector General on March 23, 2021.

Owner Peter Depuccio Sr. faced multiple criminal charges in court in Troy, but accepted a plea deal on September 9, 2021, for one count of causing an inspection certificate to be displayed on a vehicle engine without an inspection being carried out, an unclassified misdemeanor.

Depuccio Sr.’s guilty plea satisfied other charges against him for similar conduct, State Department Inspector General says, who released a cache of investigative letters on other cases on Friday in a bid to demonstrate “a continued commitment to transparency.” The posting appears to be the first time the state has issued a public notice regarding the Pete’s Auto & Body case.

The repair shop did not immediately return a phone message or social media inquiry on Sunday.

A memo written by DMV on March 31 recommended the agency notify owners of vehicles inspected at Pete’s Auto & Body in 2021 when safety certifications may have been compromised.

Those affected should consider having their vehicles re-inspected by another shop with valid certificates, officials said.

It’s unclear if his store is still doing inspections. An online Department of Motor Vehicles database does not appear to list Pete’s Auto & Body as a DMV-sanctioned vehicle inspection station. But the company still has licensed inspector signs hanging outside.

The State Department’s Inspector General did not immediately respond to comments on Sunday.