Trucking Supervisor Admits Taking Bribes to Falsely Qualify Commercial Drivers
Frank Catanzarite, a former supervisor for Watkins Truck Line, Lyons, IL, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Chicago to taking $10,000 in bribes from unqualified truck drivers who were seeking work from Watkins. Catanzarite also acknowledged assisting John Nowak, a former safety supervisor for Watkins, in fraudulently completing test score sheets for numerous independent truck drivers. Catanzarite and Nowak recruited non-Englishspeaking individuals to obtain CDLs issued in Florida. In exchange for cash payments, a Florida third-party tester passed the applicants on the skills portion of the test without actually testing their practical aptitude. Catanzarite and Nowak allowed the unqualified CDL holders to work for Watkins in Lyons in exchange for bribes. Catanzarite accepted between $500 and $2,000 per driver, and he would give Nowak between $100 and $200 for Nowak's help in qualifying each driver. In 1998, one of these drivers, Adem Salihovic, triggered a 74-vehicle pileup in California that killed two people and injured 51.