DMV worker accused of charging extra fees in ‘side hustle’

Northeast

View of a sign outside New York State Department of Motor Vehicles(DMV) office at Atlantic Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York on December 18, 2019. – A new state law, the ‘Green Light Law’, allows New Yorkers age 16 and older to apply for a standard, not for federal purpose, non-commercial driver license or learner permit regardless of their citizenship or lawful status in the United States. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A Department of Motor Vehicles employee in Albany has been arrested for charging extra fees as a “side hustle” and accessing personal information of estranged family members, authorities said.

Wanda Turner, 53, of Troy, was arraigned on charges of felony computer trespass and misdemeanor official misconduct, New York state Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro announced Friday.

Tagliafierro said Turner, a DMV employee for 20 years, charged people $40 to $50 on top of legitimate DMV fees to provide documents they requested and kept the extra money for herself.

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Investigators found that Turner also gained access to records of estranged family members and an ex-boyfriend to obtain addresses and other personal information in violation of the Drivers Privacy Protection Act and DMV policies, the inspector general said.

“This individual allegedly misused her taxpayer-funded position to create a ‘side hustle’ where she illegally accessed DMV information and produced official documents while essentially charging her own convenience fee,” Tagliafierro said in a statement.

Turner has been suspended from the DMV, officials said. Information on an attorney who could speak for her wasn’t available.

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