DETROIT (WWJ) – Two former Detroit Department of Transportation employees who took cash bribes in exchange for forging paperwork for commercial driver’s licenses have been sentenced.
The Michigan Attorney General’s Office says Calvin Foulks, of Southfield, and Michelle Reed, of Novi, have each been sentenced to 1-year of probation for their roles in the sceme.
Foulks pled guilty to four counts of uttering and publishing false state documents; Reed pled guilty to two counts of the same.
Authorities say Foulks, 58, at the time a DDOT manager, and his co-conspirator Reed, 61, a retired DDOT employee, took more than $4,000 in cash bribes for falsifying and publishing multiple documents required to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The forged documents stated that the applicants had taken and passed the CDL skills test when they in fact had not taken the federally mandated test. Both Foulks and Reed were specially certified officers so they could administer the test.
“This type of flagrant disregard for the laws, in hopes of making a buck could have caused harm to those on the road,” Attorney General Bill Scheutte said in a statement. “I want to thank the FBI Detroit-Area Public Corruption Task Force and the Michigan Department of State for their help and cooperation in this investigation.”
Schuette also commended Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and her office for investigating the fraudulent licenses that were received as a result of Foulks and Reed. Her staff invalidated 85 CDL tests and all affected drivers were required to retest before having their CDL driving privileges restored.
Foulks was sentenced May 3. He was originally charged with eight counts of felony forging, uttering, and publishing government documents. Reed was sentenced May 5. She was originally charged with five counts of this felony.
Both will also be required to pay restitution as well as court costs and fees.
To obtain a commercial driver’s license, Michigan law requires a “behind-the-wheel” test. State and Federal law authorizes the Michigan Department of State to permit municipal entities to conduct these driving skills test. This test is scored by the examiner and an applicant must receive a minimum score to pass. Foulks and Reed were skills test examiners in Detroit. As evidence that the applicant received a passing score, they receive a driver skills test certificate from the examiner. Applicants then present that certificate to any Secretary of State branch where, in exchange, the applicant receives a CDL license.