It sounds like the NYPD ticket scandal, far from being a "union-issue," is reaching ever higher into the corridors of power -and maybe as far as City Hall:
NEW YORK -- Several high-ranking members of city government and a New York Yankees official are among those who had their traffic tickets fixed by police officers, a person familiar with a probe into the practice at the New York Police Department told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The person, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity, did not name the officials or say how many were involved. The person also confirmed an online news report that Yankees senior director of operations Douglas Behar had a traffic ticket fixed.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is the subject of a secret grand jury investigation. The Yankees didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
The details shed light on the prevalence of the practice - undoing paperwork on traffic citations before they reach court as favors to officers' friends or relatives. The practice has been going on for years but came under fire recently after the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau stumbled across evidence of widespread fixing in Bronx precincts while investigating an officer suspected of wrongdoing in a drug case in 2009, law enforcement officials said. On a wiretap, authorities overheard talk of ticket fixing and decided to begin secretly recording other officers.
No criminal charges have been filed. But up to 40 officers are being eyed for possible official misconduct and criminal charges in the Bronx, and scores more could be disciplined administratively, law enforcement officials have said. The criminal cases could be brought as early as July, and the charges are expected to be misdemeanors, they said. Investigators also are probing whether any of the officers accepted money or gifts.
There are generally three ways the citations are fixed: They are voided by a ranking official, a copy is ripped up before it reaches court or the officer doesn't appear on the day of the summons.
A former commanding officer of the NYPD's movie and television unit in the 1990s, Milton Maldonado, said movie crews filming in the city would get dozens of summonses that would be taken to the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting to be voided.
"The movie industry understood that if anything happened during the time they were shooting, if they didn't show their permit or whatever and they were issued a summons, they'd flock to the mayor's office to get it fixed," said Maldonado, who retired in 1995.
Maldonado left years before Mayor Michael Bloomberg's tenure.
City Hall did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the practice existed.
The head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, Ed Mullins, has said the intensity and scope of an investigation that's relied heavily on wiretaps are overkill.
"I have been on the job for nearly three decades, and it was never deemed unusual to get calls from high-ranking department members when a summons was given to their family members," he said in a letter to members. "These phone calls were as much a part of the culture of the department as arresting criminals."
I am going to guess that the high ranking city officials and pols are current and former City Council members, and probably some members of the Bloomberg administration as well.
Any potential mayoral candidates on that list?
I would have to think that if de Blasio, Quinn, Liu, Weiner or any other potential 2013 mayoral candidate is tied to this scandal, that could be the end of their campaign.
But note too how the always free with words Bloomberg administration p.r. people refused to comment on whether the fixing of tickets for movie people continued under the Bloomberg administration.
Clearly the Bloomberg administration is up to their necks in this, which is why the Mayor of Money himself has taken pains to say that with the new electronic system in place for tickets, the ticket-fixing practice is effectively ended.
Ah, but how long has it been going on, who was involved in it and why didn't Bloomberg konw about it or do anything about it if he did know about it?