State auditor finds conflicts of interest in transportation contract

5 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 Thursday, April 26, 2018 11:01:00 AM CDT April 26, 2018 in News
By: Caroline Peterson, KOMU 8 News
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - The state auditor's office released a report Thursday detailing what it found to be "questionable communications and actions" by state employees over Missouri's weigh in motion contract.

According to a press release from Auditor Nicole Galloway, Missouri uses electronic weigh station technology, which means trucks can bypass traditional stations while sending data to the state. HELP, Inc. has been the provider of this service for more than a decade.

"Trucks subscribe to the PrePass program or Drivewyze program, and with that goes a transponder inside their vehicle," said MoDOT Special Projects Coordinator, Aaron Hubbard. 

The transponder is what lets a truck driver know if they can bypass a weigh station or not. 

In 2014, the company Drivewyze made a deal with the state to provide similar services as part of a pilot program. But Galloway said she found state employees with conflicts of interest gave preferential treatment to HELP, Inc.

Galloway started her investigation in April 2017. As part of the investigation, auditors looked at communications from people who worked for MoDOT and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who also served on the board of HELP, Inc. Galloway said those communications suggested the board members may have been biased by their relationship with HELP, Inc. while dealing with Drivewyze.

"This report outlines years of improper communications and actions that led to one vendor being unfairly favored over another," Galloway said. "Just as concerning, is the appearance that these allegations were not taken seriously by state officials until much later as our work was bringing the details to light."    

The Highway Patrol announced in May 2017 its personnel would no longer work with HELP, Inc. But Galloway said there was no documentation of any changes to policy.

The Highway Patrol released a statement that said MSHP fully cooperated with the audit and that "traffic safety continues to be a priority with the Patrol and we will continue to work with our partners to make Missouri roadways safer for everyone, including commercial motor vehicles." 

MoDOT reported started an internal review in November 2017. In February 2018, MoDOT gave information to Galloway's office regarding discipline for certain employees and an update to its conflict of interest policies.  

MoDOT released a statement that said in part quote:

  • We have recognized a new entrant to the motor vehicle enforcement technology market and established a public procurement process to give access to other providers.
  • We have discontinued our participation on the HELP, Inc. board and have stopped paying membership dues;
  • We have taken appropriate personnel action; and
  • We have identified training to help current MoDOT employees understand their post-employment responsibilities.

 

  

More News

Grid
List
MEXICO - October is domestic violence awareness month and businesses across Mexico are showing their support for survivors by decorating... More >>
15 minutes ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:02:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Latest on the trial of two maintenance workers charged with misleading investigators after a 10-year-old... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 5:09:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of people gathered for the grand opening of CenterPointe Hospital on International Drive Thursday. Governor Mike... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:42:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The influence of lower prices and convenience are affecting the way millennials approach primary care, according to... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:38:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU honored Dr. George Smith, the first Nobel Prize winner in university history, with a reserved space to... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:30:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Police arrested a man Wednesday after a search warrant led to finding five gallon-sized bags of marijuana. ... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:08:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - State House of Representative candidates talked public transportation and education, amongst other things, at a disability issues forum... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 2:00:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Officers have arrested one man after a home invasion Wednesday night, but are still looking for a second... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Jurors on Thursday began deliberating the case of two Kansas water park maintenance workers accused... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 12:39:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a man who was in a wheelchair has been found dead in a... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:52:34 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a St. Louis police officer has shot and wounded a suspect during a struggle... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:48:28 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say it appears that a man was killed after his car fell on top... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:35:41 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The National Rifle Association is backing Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley while claiming Senator Claire McCaskill will take... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 9:54:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in Target 8
(CNN) -- The former head of USA Gymnastics has been accused of removing documents linked to the Larry Nassar sexual... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:56:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - A 78-year-old Fenton man drowned Wednesday afternoon at Lake of the Ozarks. The incident... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 7:39:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Centerpointe Hospital is opening a new location on International Drive in Columbia. The Tennessee-based company has one... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:55:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Facebook has set up a "war room" at its California headquarters as part of its plans to avoid... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - November candidates want to earn your vote by discussing disability-related issues on Thursday. The City of Columbia... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:49:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 59°
7pm 54°
8pm 51°
9pm 50°
10pm 48°