Mississippi trooper and former clerk convicted over CDL fraud

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 8/13/2012

A retired high-ranking Mississippi state trooper and a former clerk with the state Department of Public Safety have pleaded guilty for participating in a CDL testing scheme.

According to the U.S. DOT Office of Inspector General, Retired Lt. Col. Joseph L. Rigby and former DPS clerk Rene Morris pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Jackson, MS, for their role in the scheme.

The OIG office said 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. It was also claimed that they had changed CDL driving records to reduce speeding infractions as well as guilty judicial records in the state’s computer system.

Rigby and Morris 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.”

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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