2 accused of altering 133 chauffeur license exam scores in exchange for bribes
Money, food, drinks given in exam for passing scores
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Two Miami-Dade County employees were arrested on bribery and misconduct charges Thursday after it was discovered that they’d altered test scores on chauffeur license exams, police said.
Marcy Fort, 49, and Cheryl Jones, 60, were tasked with administering chauffeur license exams, which are required by anyone who drives taxis, limousines and other special transportation service vehicles.
Applicants take a class that includes a multiple-choice English proficiency exam, which is scored by a computerized test-scoring program.
However, the program, called Remark, doesn’t automatically enter the applicant's score. Instead, the score must be manually written on the exam before being entered into the computer system.
That score then becomes the applicant’s official score, regardless of the score assessed by the computer program.
Police began investigating Jones in 2014 after their supervisor realized that there was an unusually high passage rate among tests that were administrated by Jones, according to court documents.
She compared the scores in the computer against the ones that were manually written, and saw that in 2014, a total of 133 examinations had the wrong score, the documents said. Of those exams, 117 of them were initialed by Jones, and Fort’s initials were on six of the exams.
Then, in April 2015, police met with Jones and read her rights before questioning her on the pass rate of the exams she administered.
Jones confessed to altering the exams and said she’d been doing so since 2010, court documents said. She accepted approximately $500 in compensation in exchange for changing test scores. She went on to tell police that she’d sometimes take food or coffee as bribes instead of money.
When asked if she knew of anyone else who accepted compensation, Jones told police that Fort was involved, documents said. Jones told police that Fort would share money with her; however, she said she’d never share any of her proceeds with Fort.
Investigators then launched an undercover investigation on Fort's alleged involvement and later arrested her as well.
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