Cracking down on corruption: A scheme to sell commercial driver's licenses (CDLs) in Massachusetts has led to the arrest of four current and former state troopers, and two civilians. A 74-count indictment exposes a long-running conspiracy involving bribes in exchange for guaranteed passing scores on CDL tests.
The charges: The defendants face multiple allegations, including extortion, mail fraud, conspiracy, making false statements, and falsification of records. Authorities assert that applicants were given passing scores irrespective of test performance, sometimes without even taking the required test.
The scheme: Text communication among the conspirators reportedly involved phrases like "golden treatment" to indicate candidates who should be illicitly granted a pass on their CDL tests. In exchange, the troopers received various bribes, including luxury goods and home improvements.
- Items such as a $10,000 driveway, a $2,000 snow blower, and expensive water products were among the bribes received.
- One of the civilian conspirators even had access to a key for delivering goods to the CDL test site when it was closed.
Accountability: The accused include Sgt. Gary Cederquist, Trooper Joel Rogers, and retired Troopers Calvin Butner and Perry Mendes. Civilians Scott Camara and Eric Mathison are also implicated. The Massachusetts State Police have begun internal reforms, including body cameras for CDL exams and updated record-keeping practices, emphasizing their commitment to integrity.
Legal proceedings: The arrested officers have been scheduled for court appearances, and if the retired troopers are convicted, they face the forfeiture of their pensions. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has been notified of the identified unqualified CDL recipients.
Broader concerns: The incident adds to a series of recent scandals within the Massachusetts State Police, challenging the reputation of an agency that prides itself on integrity and public service.