A former state driver’s license examiner has pleaded guilty to taking bribes from immigrants, mostly from the Asian country of Bhutan, who were given licenses without having to pass driving tests.
Marvin Mills, 58, of Vanderbilt Thursday entered a general plea of guilty to bribery, tampering with public records and unsworn falsification.
State police said that while working at the Uniontown Driver’s License Center in Fayette County, Mr. Mills tested 346 Bhutanese drivers between June 2009 and August 2013 and failed only seven. Prosecutors said he accepted hundreds of dollars in bribes from foreign applicants, some of whom traveled from Pittsburgh and as far as Erie to test at the Uniontown license center.
Three Bhutanese drivers told investigators and Immigrant and Customs Enforcement agents that they made cash payments to Mr. Mills at the time of their tests. Twelve applicants interviewed by authorities said they paid $100 to $700. One man told investigators Mr. Mills told him, "You give me money, I give you license" and, in the center's parking lot, he paid Mr. Mills $400 in cash, according to the complaint.
Defense attorney Thomas Shaffer asked the judge Thursday to consider house arrest to allow his client to keep his current job as a bus driver and care for his ailing wife. He said his client took the money to pay for medical expenses.
State police said PennDOT sent out retest notices to the 339 Bhutanese drivers who had tested and passed with Mr. Mills as their examiner; 218 failed and their licenses were recalled, and 32 failed to show up. Their licenses were revoked.
The Associated Press contributed.