Charges filed in Mississippi for CDL, hazmat test falsification

| 2/7/2011

A retired high-ranking Mississippi state trooper and a retired state Department of Public Safety employee have been charged in federal court following an investigation over the falsifying of CDL test scores.

Mississippi has seen a series of state troopers face charges for CDL and ticket scams in the past year.

According to the U.S. DOT Office of Inspector General, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation worked with the OIG, and the FBI to examine allegations that state troopers had “aided and abetted others in creating false commercial driver’s license test scores to obtain CDLs.”

The investigation also looked at claims that troopers had helped applicants add hazmat and other endorsements without going through state and federally mandated testing requirements, and changed CDL driving records to reduce speeding infractions as well as guilty judicial records in the state’s computer system.

Joseph Rigby, a retired lieutenant colonel who worked for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, and Rene Morris, a former Mississippi Department of Public Safety employee, each were charged with conspiracy and false statements related to commercial driver’s licenses.

Court documents show that Rigby allegedly falsified a fictitious CDL test score sheet indicating individuals had passed the written portion of the state’s CDL test when he knew they had not in Feb. 2006, March 2006. In April 2006, court documents allege Rigby faked documents showing an applicant had passed and completed all federally required CDL tests for a hazmat endorsement.

In December 2008, prosecutors allege Rigby changed a CDL holder’s guilty speeding record to “pending.”

Rigby is scheduled to face a trial by jury on Feb. 28 in U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III’s courtroom.

See Land Line’s June 2010 article for more information on other troopers arrested and charged with similar crimes.