I first wrote about the New York City ticket-fixing scandal last April. We explained that in all 12 Bronx precincts, fixing traffic tickets was a common practice. Indeed, one or more officers in each precinct were assigned to be “fixers”. These individuals would take requests to get traffic and parking tickets dismissed for friends and families of police officers.
Well, last week, after an extensive investigation, 16 Bronx police were indicted on various charges but most centering around the “courtesy” of making roughly 300 traffic tickets and parking tickets “go away”. So what does this mean to the motorists?
All of these officers have been suspended from duty pending trail of the charges brought against them. That means, that none of these officers will appear in traffic court for the near future. If you have a case pending with any of these officers, then do NOT miss your court date. Show up and be ready for trial. Without the officer, your judge at the Bronx Traffic Violations Bureau (pictured above) will have to dismiss the charge or, at the very least, mark it against the officer. Upon the second mark, the Bronx TVB will almost always dismiss your case.
What if your case wasn’t issued by one of these 16 officers? In addition to the indicted cops, 100s of other Bronx police officers face disciplinary action arising out of the scandal. This means that there very well may be other Bronx police officers who will not be able to testify in traffic court.
Bottom line: Plead not guilty to any Bronx traffic ticket and appear as scheduled. Do not re-schedule, and answer ready when your case is called. You may be in for a pleasant surprise.
Below is the list of the 16 police officers arrested last week.
Joseph Anthony, Virgilio Bencosme, Jason Cenizal, Jennara Cobb, Michael Hernandez, Marc Manara, Christopher Manzi, Brian McGuckin, Eugene P. O’Reilly, Jaime Payan, Ruben Peralta, Jose R. Ramos, Jeffrey L. Regan, Luis R. Rodriguez, Christopher Scott, and Jacob G. Solorzano.