Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cops under the gun in the massive ticket-fixing scandal 'nervous' as grand jury mulls indictments

Wednesday, September 21st 2011, 4:00 AM

Daily News File Photo

Cops under the gun in the massive ticket-fixing scandal were sweating bullets Tuesday as a grand jury started weighing whether to indict them on a slew of corruption charges.

"Guys are nervous," said one officer who is wrapped up in the wide-ranging probe. "It's a bad time to be a cop."

The Bronx jury began deliberating the fates of 17 cops - including at least eight union officials - on charges of perjury, bribery, grand larceny, records tampering and official misconduct. The legal process came to a head yesterday as it emerged that the probe has reached all the way to Police Headquarters.

Lt. Jennara Everleth, a former NYPD spokeswoman, was caught on a wiretap leaking information about the case, sources told the Daily News. And what she said made its way to a union delegate, the sources said. Everleth could not be reached for comment, and police brass had no immediate response last night.

HOW ONE INCIDENT SPARKED MAJOR SCANDAL

A handful of cops and civilians linked to a suspected Bronx drug dealer also face indictment, as do four cops who swept an assault charge against them under the rug, sources said. Sources said that those facing possible indictment include:

- Officer Jose Ramos, a former union delegate in the Bronx's 40thPrecinct who is suspected of having ties to the alleged dealer, Lee King, and profiting from drug proceeds.

Ramos' involvement with King set off the probe two years ago, leading to revelations of widespread ticket-fixing.

- A sergeant in the 40th Precinct who had links to Ramos.

- At least five Patrolmen's Benevolent Association delegates and three top union officials who helped fix tickets and void arrests.

- Four cops who allegedly beatup a business associate and helped cover it up and one whoquashed any record of a domestic assault on his wife.

- Several cops who fixed tickets, including one who took care of a speeding summons for Yankees bigwig Doug Behar.

Meanwhile, jittery officers expecting to be indicted made last-minute preparations with their families, lawyers and colleagues.

"It's the most difficult thing I've ever gone through," said one cop facing possible indictment for crimes related to fixing summonses. "I'm just ready to get on with my life. What they've put us through is ... disgusting."

A cop close to those facing charges said they were spending time with their families before the indictments came down.

"They know nothing's gonna be the same after that," he said. "There's a new reality you have toadjust to. You just want to spend as much time as possible with people you love."

The probe has dragged on for two years, with Internal Affairs Bureau investigators and prosecutors gathering evidence on the actions of more than 500 cops. Wiretaps on more than two dozen cops, most of them union delegates, also uncovered a range of crimes unrelated to fixing tickets. Most cops are being dealt with in NYPD disciplinary hearings, but the "worst of the worst" had their cases turned over to the Bronx district attorney, a source said.

Most of the indictments will probably come against cops in the 40th, 41st, 45th, 48th and 52nd precincts, all in the Bronx, sources said. The mood at the 40th and 52nd precincts was especially dark yesterday, as cops contemplated their future.

"All we can do is hope they see it the way we saw it - as a professional courtesy," one officer said.

With Alison Gendar and Rocco Parascandola

kdeutsch@nydailynews.com

Post a Comment