FMCSA Supervisor Sentenced in Bribery Case

James H. Wood accepted bribes from consultants working for Canadian trucking companies. In exchange, he postponed safety inspections and ensured the companies would receive satisfactory ratings, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Buffalo, N.Y..

James H. Wood, a former field office supervisor for the Buffalo regional office of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after being convicted of bribery, William Hochul Jr., U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York, announced Dec. 29.

Wood, 45, lives in Delevan, N.Y., according to the press release posted on the FBI website. It says Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny imposed the sentence in a Buffalo courtroom. Wood was ordered to forfeit $41,300 to the U.S. government.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Trini E. Ross and Fauzia K. Mattingly, who handled the case, said from 2008 through 2011, Wood accepted bribes from consultants working for Canadian trucking companies. In exchange, he postponed safety inspections and ensured the companies would receive satisfactory ratings. He also provided consultants with internal agency information, including lists of other trucking companies scheduled to be audited.

"The agency involved in this case is dedicated to keeping the nation's roadways safe. By accepting bribes, this defendant not only abused his position of public trust, he also potentially put those who use public highways at risk," Hochul said in the release, adding, "Our office will not hesitate to vigorously prosecute those who abuse their position."

The case was investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota and by the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General Investigation Division under the direction of Ned E. Schwartz, special agent in charge.

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