Investigators Probe NYPD Ticket-Fixing

Officers caught on wiretap arranging dates with hookers, bribing union delegates

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    Up to 40 NYPD officers could be arrested and at least 100 others could face departmental charges in an investigation into possible ticket-fixing by police union delegates.

    The investigation could bring more serious charges to some officers, who were caught on wiretaps arranging to meet and pay for dates with prostitutes, and trying to bribe their union delegates into dismissing summonses and arrests for either themselves or family members, according to The Daily News.

    The first wiretap went up in late 2008 or early 2009, the Daily News reports, after Officer Jose Ramos -- then a union delegate, and whose phone had been bugged as part of an investigation into his possible ties to a drug dealer -- is heard asking a PBA delegate to dismiss a summons.

    Internal Affairs pursued the probe, believing at first it would be limited to the delegate who took the call and possibly two other police officers.

    "But it took and went in every direction," a source told the Daily News.

    According to the Daily News, investigation findings so far include:

    • More than two dozen police officers fixed summonses in exchange for gifts, including tickets to Yankees games.
       
    • At least 15 officers intentionally "lost" tickets as a favor to fellow officers.
       
    • Dozens of cops asked union delegates to fix tickets for friends, relatives and "influential" figures, including unidentified city government officials.
       
    • A handful of officers tried to have arrests voided for themselves or relatives.

    Union officials are speaking out against the investigation, and say ticket-fixing has long been done as a professional courtesy.

    "If truth be told, it is hard to call such practices acts of corruption when the culture of extending courtesies to members and their families when the NYPD has existed since the day the very first summons was ever written," Edward Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said in a public letter.

    Prosecutors from the Bronx district attorney's office are presenting evidence to a grand jury which ends May 28, according to the Daily News, but it could be extended another 30 days.