Patrol employee convicted of fixing tickets

JACKSON – An employee of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol has been convicted on federal charges of fixing tickets and falsifying commercial driver’s license records.

James Smith was found guilty Friday of four of seven counts of making or providing false or fraudulent statements. Each charges carries up to five years in prison.

The Clarion-Ledger reported that U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan set sentencing for Nov. 13 in Jackson.

One other current highway patrol employee and two retired employees were charged last year, along with Smity, following an investigation by state and federal authorities.

An indictment against Darrell Walker was dismissed. Former employee Johnny Rawls, who retired in 2009 after 30 years, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge. Another former employee, Joseph Rigby is scheduled for trial in the coming week.

Smith was convicted of altering three speeding tickets and falsely recording that a driver had attended a defensive driving school in 2008.

The Associated Press