HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. — A driving instructor working for the Newfoundland and Labrador government is facing possible jail time after he was caught taking a bribe in an undercover police operation.
Scott Norman had worked for Service NL for nine years when, on June 12, 2019, he turned to a man he thought was taking a routine driving test in Labrador and asked him if he wanted to pass, according to an agreed statement of facts read out in a Happy Valley-Goose Bay courtroom on Tuesday.
That man was undercover, investigating Norman after the local RCMP got a tip in 2018 that Norman was taking money from new Canadians in exchange for a passing grade on their driving tests. The statement of facts refers to the man as the "Operator."
The man said, yes, he wanted to pass. They negotiated a price — Norman asked for $250, but accepted $240 — and then, while driving, Norman grabbed the wheel and instructed the man to give him the money. Norman told him to “keep his mouth shut, as they were helping each other,” the statement says.
Norman also said he’d helped other people pass and that he’d help the man’s friends, too. He handed over a business card with his cell number at the end of the driving test, reminding the man he could help his friends.
“At no point was the Operator tested on his parking,” the statement reads.
Norman was arrested after the test for breach of trust by RCMP officers who had been waiting near the Service NL building. Officers found bills worth $240 and matching the recorded serial numbers in his wallet.
Norman has pleaded guilty to one count of breaching the public's trust and is to be sentenced Sept. 24. Crown prosecutor Brandon Gillespie is asking for a sentence of three to five months in jail, plus probation.
The defence is recommending a five-month conditional sentence.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 10, 2020.
The Canadian Press