New York Daily News

Dec. 2, 2011


 

Lead detective charged in ticket-fixing probe; accused of trying to nail another cop without telling boss

NYPD is trying to discredit its own investigation: lawyer

BY Rocco Parascandola
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

TThe lead Internal Affairs investigator in the Bronx ticket-fixing probe was charged by his own department Friday with accusations designed to discredit the controversial case, his lawyer said.

The NYPD contends Det. Randy Katakofsky revealed sensitive information about the ticket-fixing investigation to Lt. Jennara Everleth-Cobb in order to prove suspicions she was leaking information to other cops, sources said.

Katakofsky's lawyer adamantly denied the accusation.

"Bringing a bogus disciplinary charge against the investigator who worked on this case is outrageous," attorney Rae Koshetz said. "This isn't about what anyone thinks about ticket fixing.

"It's about abusing your power to punish someone who uncovered information they didn't want to hear.

"He never, ever gave confidential information to Jennara Cobb or any other unauthorized person."

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Katakofsky, who has gotten death threats for his role in the case, was slapped with two charges.

The first alleges he "improperly provided information that he learned during the course of a confidential investigation" to Everleth-Cobb. The second accuses him of violating IAB procedures that govern an "integrity test."

Police sources earlier this week said Katakofsky should have taken his leak concerns to his supervisor. Instead, the source said, he gave traceable information to the lieutenant, then waited to see if other cops — particularly targets of the investigation — learned that info.

Pat Lynch, head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, applauded the internal charges against Katakofsky, and urged the NYPD to charge him criminally, too.

"This rogue investigator's testimony was used to pursue this ticket investigation and to obtain wire taps on the phones of over a dozen NYC police officers," Lynch said in a statement issued Friday. "If he cannot be trusted to follow the law, is it likely that he misled the court and prosecutors about the facts of this case? Why is he not being charged criminally?"

Assistant District Attorney Tom Leahy, head of the Rackets Bureau for the Bronx DA's office, went to Police Headquarters because he "was not happy" about what the NYPD planned to do to Katakofsky, a source said. A second source said he tried in vain to convince them not to charge Katakofsy.

His lawyer, Koshetz, suggested the NYPD is trying to hurt its own ticket-fixing investigation in a bid to make the growing scandal go away.

"I don't think that they meant to help the case," she said. "This is frightening."

That said, Katakofsky's suspicions appear to have merit. Everleth-Cobb is one 16 cops charged in the ticket-fixing case. And she is specifically accused by the Bronx District Attorney's Office indictment of leaking information.

rparascandola@nydailynews.com