Tax Commission officials have approved reorganizing the troubled
motor vehicle division resulting from a bribery scandal. The overhaul
includes replacing the longtime director and deputy director of
the 186-employee division.
grand jury is investigating corruption in the handling of fees
paid by out-of-state truckers for tags and cab cards. As of mid
August, seven people have been indicted on felony charges or conspiring
to defraud the state.
for the Tax Commission in the motor vehicle division. The other
three were agents hired by truckers to get tags and cab cards.
jury alleges the agents pocketed thousands of dollars in trucker
fees intended for the state. The grand jurors allege the agents
bribed agency employees to help in the schemes.
Tax Commission reforms, another division director will succeed
Curt Byers, director of the motor vehicle division, and David
Freno, deputy director, also will replaced. Byers and Freno are
planning to retire.
a spokeswoman for the Tax Commission, said the retirements have
been planned, but the announcement does coincide with the agency's
changes, Ross says eight to 10 additional employees from the agency
's audit division will be assigned temporarily to process truckers'
applications for tags and cab cards. A Tax Commission attorney
will be assigned to review truckers' applications.
will be borrowed from State Auditor and Inspector Clifton Scott
to monitor the work on truckers' applications. "We realize
there were some areas that had problems but we don't think it's
the whole area," Ross said. "The auditor will be added
to give the trucking industry and the public more confidence everything
is run above board."
--Keith Goble, staff writer