Prosecutors Take on Powerful NYC Police Union

Prosecutors took a shot at the nation's largest and arguably most powerful law enforcement union Friday, slapping criminal charges on 13 members after a lengthy probe into the longtime but under-the-table practice of making parking tickets disappear for...

Wiceyk said Ramos was recorded as saying he "stopped caring about the law a long time ago." Ramos pleaded not guilty to drug and other charges. His attorney, John Sandleitner, said the charges were ridiculous. His client was held on $500,000 bail. Cobb posted bail and the others were released.

The conversation overheard on the Ramos wiretap led to more recordings that produced evidence of additional officers having similar conversations.

Ramos' supervisor, Jacob G. Solorzano, 41, was charged with misconduct. Sgt. Marc Manara, 39, Officer Ruben Peralta, 45, Officer Jeffrey Regan, 37 and Officer Christopher Scott, 41, all of the 48th Precinct, were charged with covering up an assault for an acquaintance. Some of the charges also overlap to include ticket fixing.

Five civilians were charged, including Ramos' wife. Aside from those officers charged criminally, dozens more could face internal charges. In one disciplinary case already decided earlier this year, a former union financial secretary in the Bronx admitted administrative misconduct charges and was docked 40 days of vacation and suspended for five days.

There are generally three ways the citations are fixed: They are voided by a ranking official, a copy is ripped up before it reaches court or the officer doesn't appear on the day of the summons.

Last fall, the department installed a new computer system that tracks tickets and makes it much more difficult to tamper with the paper trail. Commissioner Kelly also created a new unit to sit in on traffic court testimony and comb through paperwork to ensure none of the methods is being wrongly employed.

The last serious corruption scandal for the NYPD was the so-called "Dirty 30" case from the early 1990s. More than 33 officers from Harlem's 30th Precinct were implicated in the probe, with most pleading guilty to charges including stealing cash from drug dealers, taking bribes, beating suspects and lying under oath to cover their tracks.

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