reported April 15, that federal authorities would begin an investigation
into allegations of misconduct by the Division of Motor Vehicles'
western district. State Attorney General Roy Cooper also has
called for administrative reforms within the agency.
comments came during a news conference held at the State Bureau
of Investigation's western headquarters. SBI agents have been
investigating the DMV's western district since 2000. Involvement
by federal authorities takes the DMV investigation to a new
level. Federal authorities have greater investigative powers
than do state authorities. Also, any federal charges could carry
more severe punishment, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.
allege that DMV officers in the western district misled investigators
who were gathering information and that DMV officers who reported
allegations of wrongdoing claim to have been punished for coming
DMV officer has filed a wrongful termination suit and a former
DMV officer says details about his sexual proclivities were
gathered in an attempt to blackmail him from exposing agency
also allege that the DMV mishandled private money intended for
a public purpose and showed regulatory favoritism to certain
individuals or companies; weigh station employees played favorites
when enforcing trucking laws; and that subordinate employees
were pressured to perform tasks inappropriate for state employees
on state time, specifically, solicitation of campaign contributions.
alleged that DMV officers routinely accepted gifts from companies
they monitor and that he solicited $500 from a paving contractor
at a supervisor's request to help pay for a golf outing by top
DMV and Department of Transportation brass.
Cooper held a meeting with the Citizen-Times editorial board.
Cooper did not comment on the newspaper's reports of wrongdoing
within the DMV, but said the investigation will uncover the
-- Donna Carlson, staff writer