Illinois Officials Arrested For Selling CDLs

September 16, 1998

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Sept. 17 — Federal authorities continue their investigation into allegations that the Illinois Secretary of State’s office sold Commercial Driver’s Licenses to unqualified drivers.
Agents arrested two more people earlier this week as part of an ongoing probe. A driving school employee and a truck repair employee were charged with extortion conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The FBI’s criminal complaint charges they sent CDL applicants to the Melrose Park secretary of state’s office, where they would pay between $250 and $600 for a CDL, depending on the endorsements needed.
Last week, three current and former employees of the secretary of state’s office were arrested and charged with extortion conspiracy. The Melrose Park facility has been shut down in the wake of the allegations.
This week, the state ordered 3,000 truckers to retake licensing tests if they want to renew their learner’s permits or receive full licenses. The sweep will cover everyone who has received a commercial learner’s permit from September 1997 to present at any of the five Chicago-area facilities where they’re issued. Some of the permits in question involved drivers who could not speak English.

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