Should the Tennessee Department of Transportation conduct more frequent license checks on employees who drive state vehicles?
It's a question being discussed after a Nashville's News 2 Investigation revealed a TDOT worker with a checkered driving history.
Michael Jones has been with TDOT for more than 10 years. The 33-year-old is a technician in the Nashville construction office.
State officials confirm that part of Jones' duties require him to occasionally drive a TDOT vehicle to area construction sites.
“He has a lot of office duties that keep him inside. Occasionally he will go out and do some inspection on construction projects,” TDOT spokesperson BJ Doughty said.
Jones' driving history came to light on January 31 after he rear-ended another car with his personal vehicle on Interstate 40.
Jones was arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license and having no insurance.
“He did admit that he had been into some trouble as far as not having a driver's license,” Doughty said.
Dating back to 2006, Jones' driving history includes infractions such as speeding, no insurance and no registration.
In addition, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety, Jones' license was suspended twice in 2012.
“It is a condition of the state that you have a valid driving license. It is also very dangerous from a liability standpoint for any of our employees to operate a state vehicle without a valid license,” Doughty said.
TDOT officials say a letter of reprimand has been placed in Jones' file.
He was not suspended following the accident and did not lose anytime at work.
Officials did say Jones will not be driving a state vehicle in the immediate future although Nashville's News 2 Investigates learned his license was reinstated on Tuesday.
Nashville's News 2 Investigates contacted Jones by phone for his reaction on the incident, however he had no comment.