Seven Florida driver license examiners face bribe charges

| Monday, December 03, 2001

Seven Florida driver license examiners were arrested last week for accepting bribes in exchange for providing licenses and identification cards to unqualified drivers. Prosecutors don't know how long the examiners had been taking bribes or how much their scheme netted.

The examiners, who worked out of offices in Hialeah and Coral Gables, were caught accepting payoffs on video and audio tape, according to a released statement by the Florida Attorney General's office. They are charged with a total of 189 felony counts, including racketeering, bribery, unlawful compensation, forgery and computer crimes. They face maximum prison sentences ranging from 20 to 570 years.

"Twenty-eight commercial driver licenses or temporary licenses qualifying truckers to take road tests were issued to people who did not qualify for them and either could not or would not undergo required examinations to obtain them legally," statewide prosecutor Melane Ann Hines said. "Regular licenses and identification cards were also issued to individuals who could not provide documentation to prove their identities and/or their legal presence in the United States."

The examiners are being held on bonds ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. The truckers caught in the sting conducted at the two testing offices as well as others may be called back to be retested.

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