Federal prosecutors say those employees at the agency's Torrance and Lincoln Park sites accepted tens of thousands of dollars in cash bribes at least several times a week, to approve licenses for unqualified drivers.
A DMV investigator helped uncover the conspiracy when she spotted suspicious patterns in application processing at the Torrance office, according to court records.
Jovana Tameka Nettles, 44, pleaded guilty Monday to mail fraud for taking cash bribes when she was a manager at the DMV’s Lincoln Park office. She admitted to taking part in a conspiracy of DMV employees who approved licenses for unqualified drivers who paid them off. She and her colleagues gave them fraudulent passing scores on both written and driving tests.
Huel Kennedy, a DMV employee who later admitted to taking weekly bribes that totaled more than $50,000. One of the drivers had failed the written test three times.
The DMV has a long history of corruption, including a 2017 case of two workers at San Fernando Valley offices who admitted they took bribes to give driver’s licenses to truck drivers who never passed their exams.