Third-party Louisiana CDL tester doctored skills tests

| 3/16/2010

A former third-party CDL tester in Louisiana traded positive driving skills test documents for cash bribes for more than a year, and now faces up to five years in prison.

On Feb. 23, Harold G. Stewart pleaded guilty in Federal Court to one count of lying about his falsifying 250 CDL skills tests in 2007 and 2008. Authorities began investigating Stewart after an extremely low number of skills tests were failed.

“Rather than properly administer the commercial driver’s license skills test as required, Stewart accepted cash payments from various third-party applicants in lieu of administering the test,” court documents state.

Stewart administered a total of 320 skills tests, according to the DOT Office of Inspector General. He was paid $200 per test.

The state later downgraded and retested all CDLs tied to Stewart, costing the state $7,316.

Stewart, who reportedly worked at Stewart Auto Sales & Salvage in Zwolle, faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General, FMCSA, the Southern Service Center, FMCSA’s Louisiana Divisional Office, and the Louisiana Department of Public Safety.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer