posted on July 16, 2007 11:11
There’s an odd flap brewing at the Division of Motor Vehicles. It goes like this: A DMV employee, Joey Gardner, claims the head of the department, George Tatum, had a friend’s replica of a ’37 Ford reclassified as a real ’37 Ford – to save his friend several hundred dollars in taxes (The News and Observer, 7-8-07).
Tatum adamantly denies it. So does his deputy director. And the inspector who classified the car.
But that’s not what’s odd.
After Gardner accused his boss of diddling DMV records Gardner got a visit from two internal affairs officers, who promptly told him he was suspended for “psychological issues.” It turned out to be a short suspension. Hours later, Gardner was reinstated by a higher-up at the DOT.
At that point The News and Observer proved the power of the press. Not one word had been heard from somnambulant DOT Secretary Lyndo Tippett about the budding scandal, but after he read the morning newspaper Tippett turned into a whirlwind of activity, calling for an SBI investigation of the ’37 Ford. Which is fine. But it would be understandable if Joey Gardner is miffed. Or feels the SBI is investigating the wrong charge. What Mr. Gardner might like to know is why Internal Affairs classified him as ‘psychologically unfit’ – in the first place.
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