A group of Colorado lawyers is calling for an ethics investigation into the state Department of Motor Vehicles after Fox 31 turned up computer passwords mocking drivers who hope to keep their licenses.
Government employees who conduct hearings about license suspensions use the passwords and critics say they reveal bias against motorists. The passwords include URSkrood, UWalkNow, CuzUDrink and Pdestryn, among scores of others.
Defense attorney Gary Pirosko told the station that the DMV has a reputation for turning down drivers hoping to get their driving privileges restored.
“If you walk in there, the chances are probably in the high 90 percents, you’re going to lose,” Pirosko said.
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Pirosko was graced with his own password by DMV employees — PrskoSux.
As a result of the story, the 1,000-member Colorado Criminal Defense Bar is demanding an investigation.
“The citizens should expect to be treated fairly and impartially and when you see that is not the case, that’s not just a concern for this organization, that’s a concern for everyone,” president Sean McDermott told the station.
The organization has asked Gov. John Hickenlooper to open an ethics probe into DMV practices. Hickenlooper’s office didn’t tell Fox 31 whether he supports the independent investigation, but said he supports an internal review that’s underway because of the report.
In the station’s original report, Assistant Chief Hearing Officer Mike Genoways said he “can see where someone might interpret” the list of 48 passwords as offensive and demonstrating bias.
Chief Hearing Officer Michael Williams promised to look into the matter while maintaining that the process is fair.
“I will tell you this emphatically: On my watch, we are absolutely fair and neutral,” he said. “There is no tolerance for a lack of fairness or neutrality so we will need to talk about that.”
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