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Department Members Suspended Without Pay Following Federal Charges

Following duty status hearings this morning at General Headquarters, the Massachusetts State Police ordered Sergeant Gary Cederquist and Trooper Joel Rogers suspended without pay indefinitely. Cederquist and Rogers were indicted yesterday by the United States Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts with offenses related to their providing truncated commercial driver license tests to applicants and passing applicants who tested unsatisfactorily.

 

Cederquist and Rogers were both assigned to the Commercial Driver Licensing Unit at the time of the offenses. Two former unit members, Calvin Butner and Perry Mendes, who retired in 2022 and 2021 respectively, have also been charged in the case.  

 

The Department continues to cooperate with federal prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of the alleged offenses. The MSP has provided federal prosecutors with records and information related to the unit and its members in response to more than 15 subpoenas or other requests for information received by the Department since the fall of 2022. Department members have also regularly communicated with the United States Attorney’s Office and the Registry of Motor Vehicles to share information. Additionally, the internal investigation by the State Police Office of Professional Integrity and Accountability into the alleged misconduct also continues.

 

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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