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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Driving school operators plead to DMV violations

Friday, November 9, 2012

By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer

A mother and daughter who operated a driver training school in Rocky Mount pleaded "no contest" Monday in Franklin County Circuit Court to forging DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) forms and violating driving training school laws.

Shawn Smith Balogh, 39, of Rustburg was sentenced to two years in prison on each of six felony charges of forgery. All the time was suspended except 60 days in jail.

Balogh was also fined $2,500 and sentenced to two years of probation. She was ordered to be of good behavior for 10 years.

The mother, Patsy Campbell Smith, 66, of Florida pleaded "no contest" to eight misdemeanor charges of violating a driving school statue.

Smith was sentenced to 90 days in jail on each of the misdemeanor charges. All the jail time was suspended. Smith also received a fine of $500.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Patrick Nix said the DMV will not penalize any students who were enrolled at Smith Driver Training because of the violations.

Balogh was operating the driver training school during the time DMV forms were "fudged" by Balogh, signed by Balogh, and sent to the DMV by Balogh, Nix said.

"The fudged forms had to do with the amount of time students were observed by other students while driving," Nix said.

An investigator for the DMV interviewed several of the student drivers who said they had not been observed by another student while driving.

The violations of the DMV statute occurred throughout last year and part of this year.

Smith was not actively involved in the operation of the driver training school at the time the violations occurred, Nix said.

Balogh and Smith are now out of the driver training school business, Nix added.

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