The woman, who asked that we not disclose her identity, acknowledged she was issued a truancy violation while she was a 15-year-old student at Riverside High School in Taylor. The woman, who we'll only identify as "Amanda" says she never heard a word afterwards. Not at least until the other day.
A letter indicated her license would be revoked for a period of three months.
Paperwork provided to the I-Team showed a filing goof on PennDOT's end. Apparently, "Amanda's" truancy violation was tracked using only her first and last name. When she later applied for her license, she says she used her full name, including a middle initial. A recent letter from PennDOT revealed two driver's license numbers were being used. She says only after an address change was she notified that the truancy violation was still in effect, and that she would have to surrender her driver's license.
Working to put herself through college, "Amanda" said she's trying to make ends meet, hold down a full-time job and complete a bachelor's degree in nursing.
The I-Team learned "Amanda" had already contacted multiple state legislators about the late truancy violation and impending punishment. She also says she had a phone conversation with a PennDOT attorney who apparently suggested she find a lawyer. "Amanda" said she began to shop for an attorney, but that it was going to cost her $3,000 with no guarantee she would prevail.
Eyewitness News contacted offices for PennDOT, Pa. Senator Lisa Baker (R) and Representative Michael Carroll (D). A staff members for Rep. Carroll said she had contacted PennDOT to seek a resolution for "Amanda," but eventually was informed by a PennDOT attorney that even the appeal process had expired and that "Amanda" was left with no other option but to hire an attorney.
Neither PennDOT or any prosecuting agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had given "Amanda" the opportunity to answer to the 12-year-old charges.
We're told there's no statute of limitations on a truancy violation.
Sen. Baker's chief of staff said their office would begin looking into the situation. A PennDOT spokesman for the Northeastern part of the state also acknowledged he would look into the issue.
But results did not begin to happen until Eyewitness News contacted the PennDOT attorney's office where "Amanda" was allegedly told she would need a lawyer to resolve the issue. A phone call placed to the office in Harrisburg at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday was returned about 90 minutes later. A safety spokeswoman confirmed that PennDOT had reached out to "Amanda." "It was an error from 12 years ago," said Jan McKnight. Asked about the arbitrary manner in which the violation was mailed all the years later, "It wasn't a matter of flipping a switch," she said. McKnight continued on the point of the PennDOT attorney advising "Amanda" to get an attorney, "It may have come across in the worst possible way, but it was standard operating procedure," McKnight said.
PennDOT confirmed as many as ten people were working to settle the issue.
Tonight at 11, see the full details of an investigation to resolve a late-to-school violation that reared its head 12 years later.