Monday, November 07, 2011

Sixteen NYPD officers arraigned on ticket fixing scandal

This past Thursday evening and Friday morning 16 NYPD officers surrendered to prosecutors at the Bronx courthouse to face criminal charges stemming from a ticket fixing scandal. Meanwhile, hundreds of officers staged a rally in support of those arraigned.

Prosecutors have dropped the hammer on sixteen NYPD officers who were indicted this past Friday morning at the Bronx criminal courthouse in relation to their role in a massive ticket-fixing scandal that has rocked the police force.

The Bronx District Attorney's Office unsealed a sweeping indictment against the 16 officers who are charged with a barrage of felonies that include: conspiracy, larceny, forgery, tampering with public records, official misconduct, perjury and obstruction of justice.

Among those involved are two sergeants, a lieutenant and several police union delegates.

According to Bronx DA Robert Johnson, the officers utilized various methods to render tickets legally irrelevant or make them disappear altogether.

Officers would reportedly either physically remove tickets from the precinct stationhouse after they'd been written or doctor them so the tickets would be dismissed.

In other cases, the cops would call officers who had written the summonses and tell them to lie under oath so that the cases would be dismissed.

According to prosecutors, the cops reportedly cost the city between $1 million and $2 million in lost revenue from the tickets they fixed.

Most of the people the officers reportedly fixed tickets for were relatives and friends or friends of relatives and friends. In other cases the officers are alleged to have accepted bribes from wealthy businessmen and politically well-connected local figures to fix their tickets. The bribes typically included money, free meals and even Yankee tickets or other expensive gifts.

The charges against the officers are the culmination of a three-year investigation by the Bronx DA's office and the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB).

Officer Jose Ramos, the original target of the massive probe, was arrested this past Thursday evening as he left a parent-teacher conference for his stepdaughter.

Ramos and his purported relationship with a local Bronx drug dealer by the name of Lee King served as the catalyst for the sweeping probe.

While investigating the rouge officer's ties to the drug dealer, investigators caught Ramos on a wiretap talk about fixing tickets, thus sparking the larger probe.

Ramos, though an officer sworn to enforce the law showed no regard or respect for it and even displayed utter contempt. On one secret recording by authorities the rogue officer is heard telling a drug dealer, "I stopped caring about the law a long time ago."

Bronx prosecutor Omer Wiczyk noted that Ramos had even once boasted that, "he could carry a dead body in the back of his car and get away with it because he was a cop."

During Ramos' indictment, the Bronx DA's office revealed that the delinquent officer even offered his police patrol car to help a drug trafficker move a large stash of heroin out of Manhattan. Wicsyk told a judge and packed courtroom that Ramos sold his shield and violated his oath.

More here

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