New York Daily News

Jan. 5, 2012


20,000 pages of evidence in tix-fix scandal

By Rocco Parascandola, Joe Kemp and Corky Siemaszko

Defense attorneys for the cops indicted in the Bronx ticket-fixing scandal have some homework — 20,000 pages of grand jury minutes.

That’s four times the size of a typical Bronx phone book and is likely to include excerpts of the estimated 139,000 surreptitious voice recordings made by investigators.

The staggering amount of evidence was revealed Thursday at a procedural hearing attended by 15 of the 16 accused cops. In a discussion with the judge, defense attorney Richard Schaffer said he has requested that prosecutors also turn over “at least 139,000 voice recordings” and some 450,000 emails and texts.

Schaffer represents Officer Joseph Anthony, who is accused of fixing a speeding ticket for Yankee Stadium director of operations Douglas Behar.

Despite the volume of evidence, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said he expects his men will eventually be exonerated. “There will be an aggressive defense of those accused,” he said. “The story will not be what was leaked to the press throughout this process. The story will become clear.”

Some three dozen cops showed up at the Bronx Courthouse to support their brethren in blue, and the handful of civilians also implicated in the scandal. Officer Jose Ramos, who is at the center of the scandal and faces 26 criminal charges, including attempted robbery, was the only cop not at the hearing. He remains in jail.

A departmental investigation into Ramos, who worked the midnight shift at the 40th Precinct, triggered the wider probe that ensnared the other cops.

Ramos allegedly was caught on tape discussing fixing summonses in exchange for gifts. Authorities said the other cops would also make summonses vanish before the allegations reached court or would lean on PBA members to lie in court and get the tickets thrown out. Ramos and the other cops pleaded not guilty in October after they were charged in a 1,000-page criminal indictment.

Lynch and other supporters of the officers contend that fixing tickets is a traditional professional courtesy.