Last September the "wine and dine scandal emerged" alleging DMV workers violated department policy by receiving meals and gifts from Verizon.
According to documentation provided by Verizon last year, the communication company spent more than $21,000 on gifts for state employees that included a pair of chairs, hockey tickets and health club fees. Two days after an expensive meal at a Raleigh restaurant in 2008, the DMV awarded Verizon a multi-million dollar contract.
Since details of the scandal have come to light, some DMV employees have been suspended without pay while others have received written warnings. The report also reveals some of the reprimanded employees have retired from the DMV.
According to the report, the DMV turned the issue over to the SBI last year, but the investigation remains ongoing. Two employees have been suspended for five days without pay, seven employees have received formal written warnings, five employees have received counseling for guidance and all disciplined employees are required to undergo ethics training.
The investigative report noted the following details:
- Verizon alleged 206 meals/snacks were provided to DMV employees
- DMV found 80 incidents occurred; 57 meals; 23 meetings with food provided
- Meals not itemized; DMV employees paid for some of their meals and there is no way to determine what portion was paid by Verizon, since the expense reports did not include that detail
- Verizon listed 62 names on its expense report
- DMV found that 190 were non DMV employees
- 14 current and 6 former employees were found to have accepted meals (Total: 20)
- 12 DMV employees were exonerated (includes two retirees)
- 10 employees did not have proof to counter Verizon's claim and no proof existed to substantiate the claim (includes 6 current employees and 4 retirees)
A complete list of employees named in the investigation is included on pages 11 and 12 of the report. The names of the exonerated employees also can be found on that list as well.
In his statement released Friday,Commissioner Robertson wrote, "I take it very seriously when DMV employees are accused of violating DMV policies or the ethical requirements of our state."
He says releasing details of the investigation is necessary to maintain the integrity of the DMV and the DOT.