Tuesday, December 17, 2013

PennDOT employee accepted bribes

Back when me and all my friends and peers were learning how to drive, one man in particular had a reputation for being difficult. I think everyone I knew that had him failed at least once, usually for very minor things that most of us licensed drivers are guilty of doing on occasion that won't get anyone killed. Why, just the other day I was driving with my emergency brake still on. Woops.

It's a tad frustrating to know that had we been foreigners with a couple hundred extra bucks to spend, we could've just bribed our way into a license.
Vanderbilt man is facing bribery and other charges after state police alleged he administered driver’s license tests to foreign license applicants at the local licensing center and accepted between $100 and $700 to give them a passing grade — and a Pennsylvania driver’s license.
 As potentially dangerous as this is, I laughed. And as usual, it gets better! His son insists he's innocent.
“My father has never, and never would have accepted any form of payment in exchange for desirable results for any examination or service offered at the DMV. The criminal charges brought against my father are preposterous and completely false,” Mills Jr. said.
You know, I get standing by family, but sometimes you have to believe the evidence instead. Like the fact that cops kept an eye on him and his fellow employers and superiors were suspicious of the fact that he always insisted on testing foreigners, even when they told him not to.
On June 19, supervisors at the center knew that several people of Bhutanese descent were coming for the driving portion of their license test and specifically ordered Mills not to administer the tests. However, he did so, police said. 
In July, police watched covertly as Mills tested one Bhutanese driver and wrote in the complaint that the driving portion of the test included Mills having the man drive from the licensing center lot to the PennDOT lot next door “with no other road skills or route taken,” Nied wrote. Four minutes after the test started, Mills gave the man a passing grade and he was issued a license, police alleged. 
A second applicant drove from the licensing center to a nearby church parking lot, police said. Mills and that man stayed in the lot for three minutes and returned, according to court documents. That man, too, was passed, and his license was issued, police said. 
On July 24, police again conducted surveillance and watched Mills talking to a man who brought several people of Bhutanese descent to the building to take tests, according to the complaint. That man, identified by police as Deu Tiwari, and Mills were seen frequently talking and exchanging documents, police said. 
During a Sept. 6 interview with police and an agent from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Mills reportedly acknowledged failing to give proper road tests but denied accepting any money or benefit for doing so, according to the complaint. 
Many of the drivers Mills tested had previously failed their road skills tests at other licensing facilities across the state, Nied indicated.
And then there's the numbers.
Between June 2009 and August 2013, police allege, Mills tested 346 Bhutanese drivers and passed 339 of them. 
PennDOT sent out notices to the 339 drivers Mills passed and made them come in to be retested. Of those, 218 failed the retest, and their licenses were recalled. Another 32 others failed to show up, police said. 
Three of the drivers who showed up for their tests told authorities that they paid Mills between $300 and $700 to get their passing grade, police said. 
Police said one of the applicants, Ganga Timsina, said Mills told him, “You give me money, I give you license.” 
Timsina told authorities he paid Mills $400. 

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