A desk manned by Lt. Gerard Iucci is the only place where a motorist can get a ticket officially thrown out without having to go to court. Iucci – who reports directly to the Chief of Department Joseph Esposito – is described by sources as the NYPD’s Mr. Fix-It.
“When a boss has something that needs to be taken care of, he’s the guy that they go to,” a source said. “He’s the guy that handles anything that the department needs to go away. Those summonses get thrown into the mix.”
Police officials were quick to defend the longstanding practice and said there was no comparing it to the ticket-fixing scandal that has rocked the department.
“There’s a big difference between legitimately voiding a ticket that was issued erroneously and ‘fixing’ one that was properly issued,” said NYPD chief spokesman Paul Browne.
The official process begins when a community leader or clergy member with “pull” complains to a local precinct commander about tickets they want tossed.
Sources said the problem tickets often revolve around religious events and holidays where a beat cop may not be aware of permits issued by the department.
“Some church has a festival and some cop doesn’t know any better and says, ‘Oh, good, I’ll get a month’s worth of parking tickets all at one shot here,'” said a recently retired commander.
Legitimate ticket-fixing at the desk a floor below Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly’s office continues – and officials say they don’t plan any changes.
One source described the process as good “community relations.”
“A good precinct C.O. is gonna say, ‘Bring all the summons in, I’ll void them all’ and send them up the ladder,” the source said. “A lousy C.O. is gonna say, ‘Plead not guilty, you’re on your own.'”
Good-government groups argue that any appearance of an uneven playing field is inappropriate.
“When there’s special access and treatment for a few, it undermines public trust in government and the police,” noted Dick Dadey of the Citizens Union of New York City.
Full article in NY Daily News