A former NYPD officer who was fired after writing fraudulent traffic tickets to deceased people says he did so under pressure to meet illegal department quotas.
The New York Post reports Paul Pizzuto formally filed papers in Manhattan Supreme Court alleging his June firing was inappropriate because Pizzuto was never allowed a hearing.
The papers say, "Specifically, [Pizzuto] was told that he needed to start issuing more summonses for red-light and seat-belt violations” and was warned he would be moved “if he did not issue the increased number of summonses."
Earlier this summer, 40-year-old Pizzuto was the third police officer from Staten Island to be accused of issuing bogus tickets this year.
Officials became suspicious of the 17-year veteran's overtime record. After investigating his summons, they realized Pizzuto regularly used names from older tickets and dead people.
If Pizzuto's claims are true, the NYPD is likely to be criticized for their use of illegal quotas.
In March, a 95-page report confirmed former officer Adrian Schoolcraft's secret recordings that caught precinct officials urging officers to arrest citizens "doing a little more than standing on the street" and even underreport crimes.
Prior to the report, a jury also found the NYPD guilty of having a policy that "regarding the number of arrests officers were to make that violated plaintiff's constitutional rights and contributed to her arrest."
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