Harold G. Stewart was sentenced June 17 in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge, La., to serve five years probation and 25 hours of community service, assessed a $500 fine and ordered to make restitution of $7,316.03 to the State of Louisiana’s Department of Public Safety for expenses the state incurred to recall and retest the drivers who obtained commercial driver’s licenses through Stewart.
Stewart previously pled guilty to making a false statement for his role in the falsification of 250 out of 320 CDL skills tests he conducted. Stewart, a third-party examiner for Stewart Auto Sales & Salvage of Zwolle, was authorized by the state to administer CDL skills tests for CDL driver candidates.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General said the investigation began following a state compliance review in which it was discovered Stewart tested a large number of CDL candidates with no failure ratings, which was a fraud indicator. During DOT-OIG’s interview of Stewart, he admitted to falsifying the skills test for 250 CDL candidates for which he was paid about $200 per test. The state recalled and retested all 320 CDL drivers.
Affected trucks include model year 2008-2018 Freightliner Cascadia and Western Star 4700, 4900, 5700 and 6900 trucks. DTNA says after hard brake applications, the brake light pressure switch may not activate the brake lights with the light application of the brake pedal.