Investigation Starts By Accident, But Is Now City-WideBy Al Jones

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A major ticket-fixing scandal has rocked the NYPD.

Sources told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer on Monday that grand jury indictments are expected “shortly” and that as many as 40 cops could face the music in the Bronx alone.

A grand jury is reportedly considering bribery and larceny charges against dozens of cops, who, sources said, performed an NYPD magic trick — they made tickets disappear in exchange for gifts.

Tight-lipped top cop Ray Kelly confirmed the case.

“We expect officers to enforce the law objectively,” Kelly told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones. “There should be no favoritism at all.”

1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports: Ray Kelly said the investigation is ongoing

Sources told Kramer NYPD Internal Affairs investigators have been secretly wire-tapping calls made to and from dozens of police officers and reportedly have thousands of hours of tapes.

The case reportedly started by accident. Apparently the owner of a barbershop not far from the 43d Precinct in the Bronx called his cop son to see about fixing a ticket. Unbeknownst to the cop the telephone was being tapped by Internal Affairs officers who were investigating local drug trafficking.

Sources told Kramer that union delegates were among those asked to fix the tickets, and, among the cops under investigation, more than two dozen face potential felony charges, while another 10 could face lesser charges like obstruction of government administration.

Sources also said that although the case began in the Bronx prosecutors in at least two other boroughs have pieces of the probe, which is why Kramer asked the police commissioner if a federal prosecutor should be brought in to oversee things.

“I think the district attorneys, the local district attorneys and the Internal Affairs Bureau are fully capable of doing this investigation,” Kelly said.

Some wonder if the Bloomberg administration policy of increased ticketing revenue, which has raised half a billion dollars since he took office, has led to increased efforts by the public to get tickets fixed any way they can.

“I don’t know whether we’re overzealous or under-zealous,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “I’m sure there is somebody who went over the line, but they’d be very few and far between.”

Internal Affairs probers pulled summonses issued by 12 Bronx precincts last September. Records were also reportedly pulled at precincts in other boroughs.

After the probe began the NYPD instituted a new electronic tracking system for summonses, making it tougher to fix tickets.

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