A Fullerton DMV employee who accepted cash bribes to alter driving records and issue commercial driver licenses to applicants who did not take written or behind-the-wheel tests pleaded guilty today to charges that could send the 38-year-old to prison for four years.
Which begs the question: Would making Michelle Carbajal stand in a DMV line for two years instead constitute cruel and unusual punishment?
After Carbajal's supervisors became suspicious of her conduct at work, the agency's Investigation Division launched a probe that resulted in her arrest last August. According to authorities, between Sept. 9, 2008, and April 27, 2010, Carbajal accepted money from a third party to mark that 14 people had passed written and driving tests to obtain commercial licenses.
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The 14 applicants paid $23,700 for the privilege, and it remains unknown how much Carbajal and the unidentified third party split the haul. Some tests, which none of the 14 had actually passed, covered safety-related maneuvers, including proper use of specialized brakes, proper pulling of double trailers and the ability to drive semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles. Happy motoring, Orange County!
Carbajal copped today to 21 felony counts of altering public documents and 21 felony counts of computer access and fraud. She is scheduled to be sentenced July 6, freeway close in Fullerton.