No Charges Filed Against Principal In Mvd Incident


Rim Country Middle School Principal Frank Larby will not face criminal charges for an incident at the Motor Vehicle Department on Nov. 1, according to Payson Deputy Town Attorney Tim Wright.

The charges Larby may have faced were disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.

According to the police report obtained by the Roundup, Larby became belligerent at the MVD after his daughter failed her first driving test.

MVD Supervisor Karen Burback told Payson Police Sgt. Donny Garvin that Larby was attempting to persuade her to change his daughter's test results.

In her statement to police, Burback said Larby said "his daughter needed to be taken on the road test again to be re-evaluated because the examiner that took his daughter was unfair."

Burback told Larby that it was against MVD policy to take someone out the same day, but his daughter could return the next day and retake the test.

"(Larby) demanded that this would be resolved today and he was not leaving until it was," Burback said in her statement.

After Burback attempted to explain his daughter's test score, she said Larby told her to change the score and pass his daughter.

"He then stated, ‘you will re-evaluate the test and make the decision to change my daughter's score,'" Burbank said. "He said that I could make the determination that his daughter should have passed."

"We don't change test scores," MVD Media Relations Director Cydney deModica said. "Just as with any examination people take throughout their lives, a test score is a test score. What applicant for a job or any situation where testing is involved would expect the person administering the test to go back and change the score because they were being shouted at or abused?"

"We had problems with how they administered their driving test. I was telling her that I did not think this was an accurate test and I wanted her to consider changing (her score)," Larby told the Roundup.

Larby said he believes that Deborah Swenson, the MVD examiner who tested his daughter, has a reputation of being someone who is harder on teen drivers.

"All road tests are administered equally across the board," deModica said. "There are guidelines. There is a checklist that the applicant has to pass."

Swenson told Burback that Larby's daughter didn't use her turn signals a number of times and didn't stop properly at a crosswalk, among other things.

In his statement to police, Larby admitted that he did try to get Burback to pass his daughter.

"I told Ms. Burback that I expected her to solve this situation today," Larby said. "Ms. Burback asked me what I wanted her to do. I responded that given the inconsistencies between examiners and the bias of her examiner, Deborah Swenson toward teen drivers, that I expected her to review the test with the examiner and that I expected that my daughter would be issued her license."

DeModica said she was amazed at Larby's attitude.

"I find it surprising that someone in academia would have an expectation that a test score be changed," deModica said. "This is all a traffic safety issue. Fatality statistics for teens are higher than any other age group. Ensuring that a driver knows the rules of the road and has exhibited that they can pass the test, gives some assurance that we are putting safe drivers on the road."

Burback said Larby threatened to have her and her office investigated and that he had "connections" and "political pull."

"I told Ms. Burback that she would have politicians knocking on her door," Larby said, "and she would have to explain the inconsistencies in her office."

Swenson said in her statement to police that she felt threatened by Larby and feared that her child, who will attend the middle school in the future, would suffer retaliation.

Another MVD employee, Mary Fontinel, also witnessed the incident.

"(Larby's) conversation with my supervisor (Burback) became so loud and abusive that I was unable to complete my current task," Fontinel said. "I heard him loudly and repeatedly refuse to accept her explanations (and) demand that she re-score his daughter's driver's test."

Larby said his voice carries because he is a big man.

"We did not go in and yell and scream at them and use foul language -- we left when we were asked. The whole situation would have been helped if we had been afforded some kind of privacy," Larby said. "Their tactic is to sic the police on a citizen who comes down to their office and points out some of the things they are doing wrong. I don't know how many times people challenge (the MVD) on these things."

After reviewing the police report Wednesday, Wright and Town Attorney Sam Streichman determined that Larby should not face criminal charges.

"It did not appear, with the evidence we had, that his conduct rose to the level of a criminal violation," Wright said.

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