Joe Bruno on the Mob – Are New York City DA’s Outside of the Bronx Ignoring Ticket Fixing Scandal?

http://www.josephbrunowriter.com/index.html

This whole sordid affair should tick off anyone who has ever paid a parking ticket in New York City.

According to the article below in the NY Post, the DA’s of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan are turning a blind eye to the Bronx police ticket-fixing scandal because:

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A. “Lots of cops serve as key prosecution witnesses, so prosecutors don’t want this probe to put all their criminal cases in jeopardy.”

B. “Ticket-fixing goes to the highest ranks of the NYPD. Potential embarrassment stopped other DAs from doing this.”

and

C. “The names of people whose tickets have disappeared would be a veritable Rolodex of New York’s rich and famous. You would basically have a who’s who.”

So what anonymous sources are saying to the New York Post is that if you are someone like Donald Trump, or maybe even someone like Don Imus, Robert DeNiro, etc….if you get a parking ticket, certain police officers, going up to the “highest ranks of the NYPD,” will make sure your parking tickets disappear. And no one will be any the wiser.

But if you are just a Joe Schmoe in NY City, either you pay your parking tickets, or in some cases, the city will tow away your car until you pay those tickets, plus a steep fine.

I know. This happened to be about 20 years ago. I owed about 3 or 4 parking tickets, and when I parked near the now-defunct Downtown Athletic Club at 19 West Street, my car was towed away to a pound in Queens. It cost me over $600 to get my car back (Plus a $30 cab ride to Queens), just because I didn’t pay a few parking tickets, worth maybe $100.

And I’m sure there are tens of thousands of people, who had unpaid parking tickets, suffered the same fate as I did. The city needs revenue and it will get that revenue anyway it can. Unless you’re somebody the powers that be deem as “important.”

Sure, we broke the law not paying our parking tickets. But the law is supposed to be administered equally across all classes of people: The rich and the poor. The famous and the not-so-famous. But according to the indictment of police officers in the Bronx, this is certainly not the case.

I can’t wait to see how the DA’s in Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn weasel out of this one.

The New York Post article can be seen at:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/das_giant_cop_out_UHuWLDLV6hzVRDMvuWjclL

DAs outside Bronx ‘ignoring’ ticket-fixing scandal

By KIRSTAN CONLEY, JAMIE SCHRAM and CATHY BURKE

Last Updated: 1:35 PM, October 30, 2011

Posted: 1:04 AM, October 30, 2011
More Print

EXCLUSIVE

Their silence is deafening.

The district attorneys in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island are turning a blind eye to potential ticket-fixing scandals in their own back yards — despite referrals from the Bronx DA and NYPD admissions that the practice was citywide, sources told The Post.

The Internal Affairs Bureau has questioned cops about ticket-fixing in all five boroughs, the sources said, but prosecutors either deny ever getting tipped off about any cases or simply dismissed those leads.

“No one else wanted to touch it,” a Bronx law-enforcement source said.

After 16 cops were indicted on a slew of felony charges related to the Bronx ticket-fixing probe, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly admitted that the practice “did spill into all four other counties in the city.”

But none of the DAs showed much interest.

* Law-enforcement sources in Manhattan claim Bronx DA Robert Johnson hasn’t referred any cases and prosecutors aren’t investigating any ticket-fixing.

* In Queens, a source said prosecutors haven’t had any referrals and that the DA’s Office is not looking into ticket-fixing.

* On Staten Island, sources said the DA’s Office has no ongoing ticket-fix probe — nor any plans to launch one.

* And in Brooklyn, sources insisted any cases referred there were looked into but not worth prosecuting.

“Lots of cops serve as key prosecution witnesses, so prosecutors don’t want this probe to put all their criminal cases in jeopardy,” a Democratic insider told The Post.

“But they can’t make it look like they are condoning criminal behavior. They have to walk a very fine line, and it won’t be easy.”

No prosecutor is eager for the high-profile anxiety associated with such a probe, a law-enforcement source added.

“Ticket-fixing goes to the highest ranks of the NYPD,” said the source. “Potential embarrassment stopped other DAs from doing this.”

Another source noted that “the names of people whose tickets have disappeared would be a veritable Rolodex of New York’s rich and famous. You would basically have a who’s who.”

The elected DAs also have to worry about the political fallout of declaring war on the NYPD in cop-friendly boroughs.

“They don’t want to shoot themselves in the foot,” said a law-enforcement source. “[Bronx DA] Johnson shot himself in the foot. His already-abysmal conviction rate will get even lower.”

Some of the Bronx cases extended far beyond quashing summonses, and included serious felonies such as burglaries and corruption.

In one jaw-dropping case, Bronx cops were caught on wiretap discussing how to protect a Manhattan cop buddy from a DWI charge after he drunkenly left a path of destruction while driving down a Westchester street.

“I can’t say if the investigation will go off in other directions,” Johnson said after the Friday arraignments. “I can only say that whenever we get evidence in another county, it is turned over to that county.’’

Prosecutors also fear the investigation will create credibility issues for ticket-fix officers who testify in trials and before grand juries.

It could also lead to a raft of appeals.

“A big ripple effect is the trust factor — the value of cops’ testimony in grand juries and trial juries,” said a Staten Island source.

The Manhattan and Staten Island DA offices declined to comment. A spokesman for the Brooklyn DA said that office has had no cases related to ticket fixing. There was no immediate comment from Queens.

Additional reporting by Doug Auer and Sally Goldenberg

http://www.josephbrunowriter.com/index.html

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