DETROIT, MI – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced former Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) employees Calvin Foulks, of Southfield, and Michelle Reed, of Novi, have each been sentenced to 1-year of probation for their roles in a commercial driver’s license bribery scheme.
Foulks pled guilty to four counts of uttering and publishing false Michigan Department of State documents, Reed pled guilty to two counts of the same.
Foulks, 58, at the time a DDOT manager and his co-conspirator Reed, 61, a retired DDOT employee, took more than $4,000 in cash bribes for falsifying and publishing multiple Michigan Department of State (MDOS) documents required to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The forged documents stated that the applicants had taken and passed the CDL skills test when they in fact had not taken the federally mandated test. Both Foulks and Reed were specially certified officers so they could administer the test.
“Mr. Foulks and Ms. Reed were entrusted by the Secretary of State and the City of Detroit to uphold the law and do their jobs properly,” said Schuette. “This type of flagrant disregard for the laws, in hopes of making a buck could have caused harm to those on the road. I want to thank the FBI Detroit-Area Public Corruption Task Force and the Michigan Department of State for their help and cooperation in this investigation.”
Foulks was sentenced on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 before Judge William Giovan in Wayne County’s 3rd Circuit Court. Foulks was originally charged with eight counts of felony forging, uttering, and publishing government documents. Reed was sentenced Friday, May 5, 2017 before Judge Giovan. She was originally charged with five counts of this felony.
Both will also be required to pay restitution as well as court costs and fees.
“Today’s sentencing of Calvin Foulkes related to charges of accepting bribes for falsifying commercial driver license documents demonstrates our commitment to ensuring safety on the roads by requiring that only qualified individuals obtain CDLs,” stated Thomas J. Ullom, Regional Special Agent-In-Charge, U.S. DOT-OIG. “Working with our federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial colleagues, we will continue our vigorous efforts to prevent, detect and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law fraud schemes which adversely affect the public trust throughout Michigan and elsewhere.”
“The criminal actions of this defendant for personal gain endangered motorists who share the highways with commercially licensed drivers and contributes to an erosion of trust in the integrity of public officials,” said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI. “The FBI remains hopeful the collaborative efforts of law enforcement at all levels of government to combat corruption serves a deterrent effect to any public official contemplating the use of their position for personal gain.”
Secretary of State Investigation
Schuette commended Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and her office for their hard work in investigating fraudulent licenses that were received as a result of the scheme created by Foulks and Reed.
Johnson has made a priority of strengthening her Office’s anti-fraud efforts by creating the Office of Investigative Services, which investigates and inspects automotive-related businesses. As a result of Johnson’s strong anti-fraud initiative, her staff invalidated 85 Commercial Driver License (CDL) tests in regards to this case. Affected drivers were required to retest before having their CDL driving privileges restored.
“I appreciate the work of the Attorney General’s Office to see that those who try to cheat the system face penalties,” Johnson said. “We take our responsibility to issue CDLs only to those who have passed rigorous driving tests seriously. Providing false information for a Commercial Driver License test could result in an unskilled, unsafe driver behind the wheel of a heavy truck.”