Louisiana CDL third-party examiner sentenced

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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, was assessed a $500 fine and was ordered to make restitution in the amount 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 Louisiana Department of Public Safety’s Office Motor Vehicles (LADPS-OMV) 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 LADPS-OMV compliance review wherein it was discovered that 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. LADPS-OMV recalled and retested all 320 CDL drivers.

The investigation was conducted with assistance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Southern Service Center, FMCSA’s Louisiana Divisional Office and LADPS-OMV.