February 26, 2008

Drive Test Improprieties Spark Inspector General's Recommendations for Peekskill DMV Office

Drive Test Improprieties Spark Inspector General's Recommendations for Peekskill DMV Office

In a report released today, the New York State Inspector General has found that testing procedures at the Peekskill state Department of Motor Vehicles office are susceptible to corruption and fraud. As this is a serious public safety matter involving commercial drivers on local, state and federal highways, the Inspector General recommends that DMV review and analyze the security of its testing for Commercial Driver Licenses (CDLs).

As a result of the Inspector General’s investigation, one DMV representative was fired after she monitored and graded her husband’s CDL sub-test. Her husband drives trucks for the Peekskill Public Works Department.

Crystal Moseley, 39, was let go in July after it was determined that she helped Timothy Moseley obtain a passing grade on his CDL ‘’tanker’’ certification. Moseley needed the certification for work. DMV rules and procedures prohibit employees from participating in any family member’s DMV transactions. Moseley was terminated on July 19, 2007.

The Inspector General also found that another truck driver, Jason McCloud, 24, offered an $80 bribe for a passing grade on the CDL exam. McCloud was arrested by the Peekskill Police Department and charged with 3rd degree Bribery of a Public Servant, a felony.

“The safety of our highways depends on the integrity of those who test and license commercial drivers,’’ Inspector General Kristine Hamann said. “We must make certain that these tests are administered fairly and lawfully.’’

The Inspector General’s office launched its investigation after getting a complaint from a DMV District Director that Moseley sold a CDL certification to an unknown man for $100 and that Moseley’s husband steered CDL test-takers to his wife for passing grades. Those allegations were not substantiated.

To obtain a CDL, required to operate commercial motor vehicles, applicants must pass a written general knowledge test administered by DMV. Further “sub” tests qualify drivers to operate specific vehicles, such as tractor trailers. DMV administers the tests daily at locations statewide.

Moseley, a per diem employee working 20 hours a week, gained access to her husband’s test, which revealed a flaw in DMV procedures. Moseley told investigators that test takers “cheat all the time.”

The Inspector General recommended that DMV Peekskill:

1. Evaluate the CDL license and sub-certifications issued to Timothy Moseley, including, if necessary, re-testing.

2. Review and analyze the CDL test process, giving consideration to further restriction of access to answer sheets.

3. Conduct an outreach to DMV employees on the importance of legitimate driver tests for public safety and remind employees of the penalties for inappropriate contact with test-takers.

In response to the report, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Wayne L. Benjamin said DMV management would review the Inspector General’s recommendations. He said Moseley’s firing ‘’addresses the personnel integrity issue.’’ He added that the actions of the director and staffers who reported the misdeeds ‘’most accurately represent the majority of our staff and should be commended for coming forward.’’