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Department Member Charged in CDL Investigation Retires, is Given Dishonorable Discharge

The State Police today issued a dishonorable discharge to Sergeant Gary Cederquist after Cederquist retired from the Department effective today. 

 

Cederquist yesterday was suspended without pay by the Department. On Tuesday, he and five other people were charged in a federal indictment alleging they fraudulently conspired to issue commercial driver licenses to applicants who were unqualified or did not complete the full testing process. The State Police, who assisted prosecutors in the federal investigation, also are conducting an internal investigation into alleged violations of law and policy by those involved.

 

Another former member of the Department’s Commercial Driver Licensing Unit, Trooper Joel Rogers, was also suspended without pay yesterday. Rogers, retired MSP members Calvin Butner and Perry Mendes, and two non-MSP civilians were also charged the federal indictment.

 

Any determinations about the state pensions of the indicted MSP members will be made by the state Retirement Board, not the Department. 

 

BACKGROUND:

 

The MSP became aware of a federal investigation into members of the CDL Unit for alleged violations of the law and Department policy in late 2022. At that time, the Department immediately launched its internal investigation and additionally initiated an internal audit of the unit’s operations and procedures. The Department’s audit of the CDL Unit identified multiple processes requiring modernization, greater internal controls, and increased accountability. The State Police, beginning in early 2023, implemented numerous reforms to the CDL Unit that have significantly improved efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability. Steps taken include the following.

 

·      Required use of body-worn cameras for all CDL exams.

·      Increased frequency of unannounced visits by unit supervisors to examiners at training sites.

·      Modernized unit record-keeping with required electronic documentation and the use of the Department’s online case management system, allowing for enhanced accountability, accuracy, and supervision.

·      Added two new sergeants to unit with prior experience, who have instituted operational changes that increased efficiency and supervision.

·      Created a new position responsible for supervising and coordinating all aspects of CDL Unit training, including scheduling, curriculum, procedures, vehicle acquisition and maintenance, and record keeping.

·      Developed new training procedures that establish acceptable time frames for training, standards for instructors, and accountability standards for students and instructors.

·      Developed a new curriculum that establishes learning benchmarks for each day and each phase of training.

·      Modified existing monthly in-service training and ongoing development of new annual in-service training for CDL Unit examiners.

·      Added new Troopers to the unit and reassigned staff to high demand training sites, resulting in improved service to the public, significantly reduced scheduling wait times for test takers, and increased oversight over these sites.


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