A grand jury in the Bronx has launched an investigation into accusations that as many as 40 police officers are up to their necks in a quid pro quo, ticket-fixing scheme.
The Police Benevolent Association has also been placed under the microscope.
Sources told The Daily News that 24 cops made tickets vanished in exchange for gifts, which is a felony. In addition, police are investigating 10 officers for lesser offenses, which include obstructing governmental administration. They’re believed to have “lost tickets” that were supposedly “taken care of,” law enforcement sources say.
And according to public reports, at least one department bigwig has been hauled in front of the grand jury, which is reportedly considering larceny and bribery charges.
The NYPD, PBA and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office are being tight-lipped, and aren’t commenting on the scandal.
But, prosecutors are reportedly playing hardball in order to get past the infamous “blue wall of silence” that cops throw up to protect each other in situations like this.
Sources say a PBA official got an unexpected house call Wednesday, from an assistant district attorney and a NYPD Internal Affairs investigator pressured him to turn informant.
The probe began in September 2010 when IA investigators pulled summons records from all 12 Bronx precincts. They stumbled on the scheme when they were looking into a union delegate suspected of having ties to a drug dealer. That’s when they reportedly heard a cop — via wire tap — asking the delegate to fix a ticket for him; that officer is now on modified duty.
In the not-too-distant past, it was common place for cops to extend a professional courtesy to a fellow officer, when a family member or friend got ticketed — but not anymore.
The DA’s investigation took place between August 2009 through June 2010, when the department installed a system allowing each summons to be tracked electronically, making it next to impossible to make a ticket disappear once it’s written.