Sunday, March 04, 2001

BMV employee accused of bribe

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — An Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles employee is accused of offering to reinstate a woman's driver's license in exchange for $100.

        Reginald J. Spence, 34, was released from the Franklin County jail Friday, one day after being charged with bribery.

        He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending a hearing next week with Ohio Department of Public Safety officials.

        Mr. Spence has worked for the bureau for seven years, most recently in its customer service department.

        Lt. Gary Lewis, a spokesman for the State Highway Patrol, said Mr. Spence made the offer on Wednesday during a phone call from a woman who wanted to get her license back.

        She called authorities after talking to Mr. Spence, and Lt. Lewis said the patrol persuaded her to call the man back and set up a meeting.

        An undercover female trooper met Mr. Spence at a Columbus gas station the following day and gave him $100, police said. Mr. Spence also asked the trooper to have sex with him, police said.

        Bureau spokeswoman Julie Stebbins said Mr. Spence could have changed the woman's license record on his own, but telephone workers are to alter records only when a court or police agency requests it.


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