NYPD cops to surrender in ticket-fixing scandal
Already rocked by recent scandals, the NYPD is facing the heat again as more than a dozen cops were expected to turn themselves in late Thursday or Friday morning on charges related to ticket fixing.
The allegations, which law enforcement experts say further erodes the public’s trust in police, implicate 16 officers and five civilians, including union delegates, according to published reports. The more serious indictments — expected to be unsealed Friday — reportedly include bribery, official misconduct and perjury.
Authorities have been investigating the alleged corruption for three years, and a Bronx grand jury has been reviewing the evidence.
In one instance, a cop fixed a ticket for a Yankees executive who was given a speeding ticket in August 2010. That ticket was dismissed as a favor, DNAinfo.com reported.
For allegedly fixing tickets for friends or family, some of the police earned cash, food and other gifts.
“There’s a lot of respect for police, but you get lows,” said Eugene O’Donnell, a professor of law and police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “You’re definitely at a low now.”
The Bronx district attorney’s office confirmed that an indictment will be unsealed Friday. The NYPD and union officials declined to comment.
But the attempted suicide last month of a police officer connected to the probe led PBA President Patrick Lynch to decry the scandal: “This issue could have and should have been addressed differently,” he said at the time.
The impending indictments are only the latest to embroil the NYPD. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors charged five active and three retired NYPD officers for running an illegal gun, cigarette and slot machine ring.
That’s on top of a Staten Island cop being charged Oct. 17 for falsely arresting a black man, the feds said. The police have also been criticized for pepper-spraying and roughing up protesters near Wall Street.
O’Donnell said these cases make it harder for the “good cops” to garner the community’s goodwill.
“Right after 9/11, everybody [in the NYPD] was a hero,” said Leonard Levitt, a columnist for the website NYPD Confidential. “It seems to me that people don’t want to deal with the fact that there are real problems with the police.”