TUCKAHOE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The city ticket fixing fallout has hit the suburbs.
A Bronx grand jury probe into NYPD favoritism for traffic and parking summonses accidentally uncovered a possible DWI cover up in Westchester County with suburban cops allegedly concealing the situation for their city counterpart.
Tuckahoe Police Sgt. John Cuccinello says he can’t talk about it.
“In the matter at hand I’m being represented by an attorney, so I really can’t say much or answer any questions,” he told CBS 2’s Lou Young. When asked if he remembered the incident, Cuccinello replied “vaguely.”
Cuccinello was working last year when an off-duty New York City cop crashed his SUV in Tuckahoe before taking down a light pole and a parking meter before driving on, apparently drunk.
Two city cops were caught on tape discussing what appears to be a cover up scheme shortly before the apparent drunk driver was allowed to go home. The recorded telephone call, posted by DNAinfo.com, gives insight into what what happened during the 2010 accident.
“Chris, I got one of your guys down the block. He’s bombed, bad. Basically, when they see his ID card they’re like, you know what, he lives in this town,” a Tuckahoe sergeant could be heard saying.
The Tuckahoe police chief was not amused.
“The public has to trust that everybody’s treated fairly and equally and no one is above the law,” Chief John Costanza said.
The repair work as a result of the accident cost more that $15,000 to fix and replace the light pole and more than $700 to replace the traffic meter.
The driver who caused the accident should have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and DWI if he was drunk, but the Tuckahoe Police sergeant had a hard time convincing the New York City cop that he was trying to help him.
Apparently, it was the driver’s belligerence at the scene that led to the series of phone calls that now has everybody in trouble.
“I’m like right he got the deal. There’s nothing that says DWI, it just says I (expletive) up. I caused an accident,”
The city cop in question lives a short distance from the accident scene, he was not permitted to drive home. The Westchester District Attorney has opened an investigation.
The NYPD officer’s insurance company wrote a check for $16,855 to cover the damage. That insurance claim is also part of the investigation.
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