taxi.jpgA former San Francisco police officer accused of accepting money from taxi drivers in exchange for a passing grade on a written exam required for a permit was ordered today by a judge to stand trial on bribery charges, a district attorney’s office spokesman said.

Paul Makaveckas allegedly accepted bribes of around $100 each from taxi driver applicants during the course of two years, ending in March 2009 when he retired, prosecutors and police said.

In return, Makaveckas, who was in charge of administering and grading the written exams at the time, allegedly gave the drivers passing grades regardless of their actual performance on the tests.

In the preliminary hearing Makaveckas, who retired from the Police Department in March 2009, was ordered by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Bruce Chan to stand trial on four counts of bribery, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Seth Steward.

William Hancock, who was allegedly the middleman in the transactions, was also held to order on three counts of bribery, Steward said.

Hancock operated a taxi driving school and applicants would allegedly pay him bribe money that he would then hand over to Makaveckas, prosecutors said.

The two men were arrested Nov. 30. They are expected to return to court again for formal arraignment May 26, according to Steward.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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