Audit finds officer had suspended driver’s license

BUCKHANNON — A Buckhannon police officer whose driver’s license was suspended after his insurance lapsed is back on the road again after taking steps to get his license reinstated, according to the mayor of Buckhannon.

Mayor David McCauley confirmed Thursday that the city recently discovered that the driver’s license of Sgt. Tom Posey of the Buckhannon Police Department had been suspended “because of a lapse in insurance.” Posey’s license has since been reinstated according to documents the city received from the W.Va. Department of Motor Vehicles on the afternoon of Monday, March 27.

McCauley said the city discovered on March 17 that Posey’s license had been suspended during a routine citywide audit of all employees who operate motor vehicles. The audits are conducted for liability purposes to ensure the city is protected in case an accident would occur, McCauley added.

The mayor said that when a driver doesn’t have proof of insurance, the DMV is notified and consequently suspends a person’s license.

“His insurance lapsed because he did not get a letter from the DMV, but he jumped through the hoops to get it fixed,” McCauley said.

Natalie Holcomb, public information specialist with the W.Va. DMV, said via email Thursday that when the DMV discovers the insurance on file shows that coverage is no longer in effect, it first sends an insurance verification letter to a driver informing him or her of the requirement that all drivers maintain insurance on registered vehicles. The DMV letter goes on to state that the agency needs proof of coverage.

“The driver is given the opportunity to provide DMV with proof of insurance,” Holcomb wrote. “If the driver does not provide proof of insurance, the DMV suspends his or her driver’s license with a certified letter.”

McCauley said he’s not sure exactly what happened, but the letters somehow did not reach Posey’s hands.

“The DMV sent him a letter that his wife got and did not reveal to him or forgot about it or something, and as a consequence of that, he was unaware that his license had been suspended,” McCauley explained. “When we discovered that (through the city audit), he immediately undertook steps to correct that.”

Police chief Matt Gregory confirmed the situation, which involved a 30-day license suspension, had  been resolved and that Posey was back on regular duty.

McCauley said the city had planned to place Posey on “office detail” during the week of March 19-25; however, the officer opted to take his vacation time instead. He is now back on patrol, the mayor added.

“I think the matter was embarrassing to Tom Posey and embarrassing to the city, but it was one of those things — to err is human, to forgive is divine,” McCauley said. “The matter was promptly attended to.”

More In Local News