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Former FMCSA Supervisor Jailed for Accepting Bribes

January 02, 2012

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A DOT official in New York State was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to felony bribe-taking.


James H. Wood, a former field office supervisor for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in Buffalo, N.Y., was charged almost a year ago for taking bribes from the trucking companies he was supposed to be inspecting. Wood must forfeit $41,300 to the federal government.

The Buffalo News, reports the U.S. Attorney's Office charged Wood with taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for initiating "complaint audits" that could put a company out of business, or for giving favorable audits to other firms. Wood also was accused of taking bribes to provide "inside information" that let some companies keep potentially unsafe trucks on the road.

Wood pleaded guilty in June.

According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Wood accepted bribes from consultants working for Canadian trucking companies. In exchange, he postponed safety inspections and ensured that those firms would get satisfactory ratings, according to the office.

It was alleged that the defendant also provided consultants with internal agency information, including lists of trucking companies scheduled to be audited.

"The agency involved in this case is dedicated to keeping the nation's roadways safe. By accepting bribes, this defendant not only abused his position of public trust, he also potentially put those who use public highways at risk," U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said in the statement.

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