If someone offered you $5,000 in exchange for allowing untrained drivers to operate commercial vehicles would you do it? Or, how about, would you bribe someone that much cash to get something you wanted?
Hopefully, you have a little higher of moral code than a few bad apples in California.
Feds are currently investigating the huge scandal that surfaced last week in a Sacramento, CA DMV when it was discovered that a few employees there were giving out commercial driving licenses to as many as 100 individuals. Worse yet, there may have been up to 23 traffic accidents that have occurred related to the recent fraud. After all, we all know that Class A commercial licenses are much more difficult to obtain than your run-of-the mill driver’s license…and for good reason.
Essentially, the scheme let drivers who had not taken or passed tests that are required in order for someone to legally drive a commercial big rig. However, it was a more elaborate scheme than just between bribers and the three DMV employees involved. It involved at least two DMV examiners; Andrew Kimura and Robert Turchin who cooked up the blueprints to this plan with trucking school owners to get their students licensed. The DMV workers apparently changed computer records to falsify passed behind-the-wheel and written tests.
“Individuals who use their positions to obtain commercial drivers’ licenses for unskilled and untested drivers jeopardize our nation’s security and safety. Allowing unqualified drivers to operate heavy commercial trucks on our highways is honestly quite chilling,” said Carol Webster, acting assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations office in Sacramento.
As of now, 602 commercial licenses have been revoked by the DMV due to possible connections with the fraud. However, drivers likely will be granted opportunities to retake tests. Many of the people that were involved were of the “Indian community” and were given “shortcuts” in order to get licensed to drive.
The scandal really makes you wonder about the truck driver shortage and the desperation these trucking schools must be facing in order to go to such extreme lengths to get their drivers licensed. However, their actions are not acceptable and put the lives of many innocent people in danger because receiving proper driving training is no joke.
Both DMV workers who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for giving out CDLs could be up to 5 years in prison when they are sentenced November 17.