RAVENA, N.Y. -- A DMV supervisor from Ravena has been arrested for removing ignition interlock restrictions on a person's driver's license.
Sherri Freitas, 43, a DMV employee of 25 years, and a supervisor assigned to the Driver Improvement Unit, allegedly did it for a driver who was convicted of DWI. Drivers with the interlock restriction are required to breathe into an ignition interlock device, which is similar to a breathalyzer, to ensure they are not intoxicated before driving their car.
On two separate occasions, Freitas allegedly accessed the DMV computer network files pertaining to an individual known to her and removed the ignition interlock restriction from that individual's DMV record. She did not have authority to access the DMV records in this manner. Frietas also did not have authority to alter the DMV records to remove ignition interlock restrictions.
In addition, Freitas allegedly sent an unauthorized letter on DMV letterhead to an attorney representing the individual upon whom the restrictions had been placed regarding the removal of the interlock restriction from that individual's DMV record. The investigation revealed that Freitas signed the letter as DMV supervisor, making the letter appear as if her representations were an official opinion of DMV when in fact they were not.
DMV Commissioner Barbara J. Fiala said: "The employee will be suspended and will not be able to access any DMV records. Those who attempt to alter the driving records of any motorist, for any reason, have violated the law and will be discovered and prosecuted. I congratulate the DMV staff on discovering this alleged abuse and the Acting Inspector General for her successful investigation."
Freitas is charged with two counts of Tampering with Public Records in the 1st-Degree, two counts of Computer Trespass, two counts of Computer Tampering in the 3rd-Degree, and three counts of Official Misconduct.
"By changing the DMV restriction levels, the defendant not only exceeded her authority as a DMV employee but potentially compromised public safety. These actions revealed a serious lapse in oversight that DMV has since corrected," said Acting Inspector General Scott. "Thankfully this misconduct was uncovered before anyone was harmed."