Former Mississippi state troopers indicted

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Joseph L. Rigby, Capt. (Ret.) Johnny D. Rawls, Lt. James C. Smith and Master Sgt. Darrell D. Walker, all of whom were troopers assigned to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Driver Services, were indicted May 18 in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Miss., on multiple counts of making false statements related to commercial driver’s licenses.

If convicted, the troopers are each subject to fines and a maximum of five years imprisonment.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General said the investigation resulted from a request for assistance from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation about allegations state troopers had helped others in creating false CDL test scores to obtain CDLs and operational enhancements, such as hazardous materials and passenger endorsements, without going through the mandated state and federal testing requirements. According to DOT-OIG, the troopers also were alleged to have assisted others in altering CDL driver records to reduce speeding infractions to lesser charges and to have altered the guilty judicial dispositions of driver records.

DOT-OIG said analysis of the Commercial Driver Licensing System and the National Driver Registry is ongoing to determine if additional alterations were made to driver records by other public service personnel and state troopers working for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. DOT-OIG is coordinating with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Southern Service Center to correct the driver records to mitigate any public safety concerns.

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