Long Island Police Chief, Town Official Among Four Arrested for Allegedly Fixing Tickets

Police Chief Paul Johnson has been indicted on charges he allegedly helped a village trustee get rid of traffic tickets for a friend

A Long Island police chief and a town official are among four people charged in a ticket fixing operation.

Before Hempstead Police Chief Paul Johnson was promoted to the top post, the then-lieutenant helped a village trustee get rid of two traffic tickets for a friend in 2018, according to the indictment.

Perry Pettus was asked by local restaurant owner William Mendez to get an employee's tickets taken care of on May 16.

Pettus contacted Johnson that same day, with Johnson later allegedly telling him "They're done. You don't have to worry."

In the days leading up to the alleged incident, Johnson applied for multiple promotions within the department. On June 5, Pettus voted to promote Johnson to acting chief.

According to the separate indictment unsealed Wednesday, Pettus also used his position as village trustee to ask Hempstead Police Sergeant Joseph Savino to fix multiple tickets for Mendez in April 2018. Savino allegedly complied, disposing of two parking tickets and a summons.

This is not the first time Pettus has been hit with charges related to improper use of his position. In four separate indictments in 2018, Pettus was arraigned on charges related to alleged bribery and extortion of local business owners.

In one incident in May 2018, Pettus allegedly accepted a bribe from a police lieutenant — and then voted to promote the officer just weeks later. That case is ongoing.

Johnson, Pettus, Savino and Mendez were all charged with grand larceny and tampering, along with a slew of misdemeanors. The police boss also faces a charge for ignoring a grand jury subpoena to produce the allegedly fixed tickets for Pettus and Mendez.

If convicted, each faces as much as seven years behind bars.

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