December 2, 2011

PBA: IAB Inspector’s Retirement Puts Taint On Ticket-Fix Probe

By Mark Toor

PATRICK J. LYNCH: ‘Have to stop this now.’    
PATRICK J. LYNCH: A ‘very curious’ retirement.


The sudden retirement of the NYPD Deputy Inspector who headed the ticket-fixing probe raises questions about the way the investigation was conducted, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association contended last week.

The Deputy Inspector, John McDermott of the Internal Affairs Bureau, had considered retiring before he was assigned to the probe, but reportedly put it off after telling colleagues that the ticket-fixing investigation would be the big case that put him on the map. He put in his papers last week.

Cop Said He Quashed Ticket

An officer testifying before the Bronx grand jury that indicted 16 cops on ticket-fixing and other charges said, “I was approached by a cop from the 44th Precinct and asked to take care of a speeding ticket for Inspector McDermott,” the New York Post reported in May. The officer said that the request came from another cop and that he did indeed make the ticket disappear, the paper said.

PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said in a statement Nov. 24: “The sudden retirement of the individual who was the lead investigator in such a high-profile case seems very curious at this time. Many have suspected that the leak of critical wiretap recordings and grand-jury testimony to members of the media, which is itself a crime, may have come from the very Internal Affairs Bureau who conducted the surveillance. It is also possible that those leaks occurred in an attempt to bolster the criminal cases against our members who, until now, would only have faced departmental charges for these types of alleged infractions.”

Over the months preceding the indictments, leaked information about the probe overstated the number of cops involved and inaccurately stated that many would be indicted for fixing tickets for personal gain.

When the Post reported the grand-jury testimony in May, NYPD chief spokesman Paul J. Browne said that the incident never occurred. “The officer’s purported claim that he was asked to fix a ticket for a family member of Inspector McDermott is false,” Mr. Browne said.”