Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Douglas County prosecutors to review cases involving Lawrence police involved in dismissing speeding tickets

February 21, 2012, 5:08 p.m. Updated February 21, 2012, 10:07 p.m.

Advertisement

Lawrence City Hall officials on Tuesday gave Douglas County prosecutors the names of two suspended Lawrence police officers, while also confirming they’re continuing to investigate the role other officers may have played in dismissing speeding tickets in exchange for Kansas University basketball tickets.

KU Ticket Investigation

Four former Kansas Athletics employees and one current employee have been federally charged and two former employees have pleaded guilty in a scandal involving millions of dollars of stolen tickets from the university.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said Tuesday afternoon Lawrence Police Chief Tarik Khatib provided him the names of the two officers who have been suspended following the ticket-fixing investigation. The names have been forwarded to Branson so he can determine if the alleged ethical violations of the officers are pertinent to other pending or past cases.

“I have an obligation to review any case that involves those officers and determine if the alleged misconduct is material to the defense in any case they are associated with or if the conduct damages that officer’s credibility,” Branson said in a statement Tuesday.

The city confirmed the investigation last week but has not released the names of the two officers, calling it a personnel matter. Branson did not release the names or ranks of the two officers Tuesday, instead referring to his written statement.

“Information that may impact the officer’s veracity, show a propensity for bias or any evidence of a crime may be required to be turned over to defense counsel,” according to the statement. “We will diligently review our files, past and current, to make sure that appropriate parties are notified.”

Also on Tuesday, Khatib and City Manager David Corliss confirmed that other officers were involved in the process of dismissing speeding tickets for an individual who had access to KU basketball tickets. The investigation has indicated those officers may have been asked by a single member of the police department to dismiss those tickets as a favor. It isn’t clear whether those other officers received KU basketball tickets in exchange for the dismissals. The city on Tuesday declined to provide an estimate of the number of other officers involved or whether other suspensions could be forthcoming.

“We have two people on suspension, and we’re still looking at the information to determine what the appropriate level of action is on the others,” Khatib said.

City officials previously have said their investigation determined that one officer largely orchestrated the ticket fixing, while the other officer on suspension had knowledge of the activity and did not step forward. But Khatib on Tuesday sought to assure residents that the misconduct was not widespread in the department.

“I don’t think the public needs to worry here that we’re talking about a ton of tickets,” Khatib said. “This is not a widespread, systemic amount of officers. I can tell you that. It is not that huge of an amount.

“It is not indicative of all of the officers. The public does not need to worry about how many officers are doing this. The vast majority of officers are doing an excellent job, and occasionally some people drop the ball. That is what we’re dealing with here. That is it.”

The city, though, has declined to release details about the number of tickets involved or the amount of time the alleged ticket fixing took place. But Corliss said he does expect to be in a position to release that information once the city has completed its investigation.

“I would hope sooner rather than later,” Corliss said of his timeline for releasing the information. “I understand the interest in this and the interest to move on.”

The two officers were suspended following an investigation by the FBI in which no criminal charges were filed. Khatib said there was an internal investigation because it appeared the city’s gratuity policy had been violated. Two officers have been placed on administrative leave.

Corliss said the person whose speeding tickets were fixed is serving time in federal prison related to a broader KU tickets scandal from 2005 to 2010 after four Kansas Athletics Inc. employees and one athletic department consultant pleaded guilty in the $2 million cash-for-tickets scam.

Khatib, who was promoted to police chief in February 2011, received an anonymous letter in May 2011 about the allegations involving the police department, and it was eventually referred to federal authorities.

The city has not provided a definitive timeline of the events involving the officers beyond saying it occurred “over several years,” and Branson said Tuesday he did not yet have an indication for how far back his office would look at cases to review to see if any involved the two officers.

Branden Bell, a defense attorney, said last week he was advising clients not to enter a plea in pending cases involving a Lawrence police officer as a witness until the officers were identified saying it created an issue about credibility because the two officers were accused of engaging in “dishonest conduct.”

Khatib and Corliss have said “several” members of the department were involved in the dismissal of tickets but contended one individual orchestrated the matter. They have also not identified the now-imprisoned individual who provided the KU basketball tickets or said how many speeding tickets were dismissed.

Mayor Aron Cromwell has said that it was Khatib’s decision but that it was likely the officer leading the activity will be removed from the department.

Comments

smitty 2 years, 1 month ago

Police Corruption An Analytical Look into Police Ethics

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/may_2011/law_enforcement_professionalism

Senior officers may test new members of the law enforcement profession. For example, they may see how amiable recruits are to accepting gratuities. It long has been believed that this practice can be a gateway to more serious corruption as it provides the opportunity for corrupt intent.11 Accepting the free cup of coffee is the example most often used, and it is held that once officers engage in minor illegal or corrupt behavior, they find it easier to do more.

But, accepting small gratuities is a test of loyalty. In the corrupt subculture, fidelity becomes more important than integrity, and officers learn that their peers frown upon morality and independence.12

0

oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 1 month ago

Is Chief Khatib now suggesting that more than two officers have had the privilege of dismissing or arranging for dismissal of tickets for traffic offenses?

It is really pretty simple to figure out that two officers did NOT manage to issue tickets to the perpetrator in question. That would be some mighty fine scheduling on someone's part.

If a ticket were issed, it is from a book and then it goes to downtown to the Ticket Office aka the City Prosecutor's office. So what happens in Downtown stays in Downtown.

Of course, there have been more than two officers involved and more than one person receiving citations. If not, someone was really dumb along the way. Two officers and one getting tickets? Wow, that's some Barney Fife operation.

0

fudgystuff 2 years, 1 month ago

Cops do NOT respond to emergencies the EMT's do. Cops show up at wrecks but do nothing more than write the report & measure the distances. Cops barely stop to help people with a flat tire anymore...Lets not give them too much credit, yes some of them are nice & honest but apparently more of them take bribes or we wouldn't be discussing this. Once they are involved in dishonest behavior they need to lose their job & not be allowed in law enforcement again. Just my opinion though....

0

psheaf2 2 years, 1 month ago

It seems so easy to pass judgement on others. For those who have been stopped for a speeding ticket and have been given a warning and been thankful for it, truth is, u broke the law and got away with it. In that circumstance, we seem to be grateful. For any of u that have ever taken even the smallest of things from your place of employment, woops! Everyone needs to take a look and make sure your own backyards are in perfect order before throwing stones. Though most of you seem to lack any respect for our police department, please remember these are the same men and women that have come to our rescue and are there to respond to our 911 calls in our emergencies. Have you ever needed their help?~I'm certain you'll appreciate them then!

0

LJ Whirled 2 years, 1 month ago

Bribery is a crime ... even a little bribery. A dirty cop is a criminal ... even a little dirty.

Prosecute.

0

samsnewplace 2 years, 1 month ago

smitty, please go start your own Facebook page and rant and rave there. I am sure you will have a following, but I will not be one of them. Enough about YH and KU already, stay on topic please and stop dragging up old news!

0

tennesseerader 2 years, 1 month ago

SHAME SHAME SHAME

Cops should be held to a higher standard. If there are good cops they need to investigate and arrest the bad cops!

We had an extremely corrupt sheriff's department in Jackson County, Tennessee. The sheriff was caught exchanging sexual favors for not arresting women. Several other law enforcement officers were also indicted on similar charges in the same county.

In other counties here we been plagued with corruption all the way to the top. Manufacturing evidence, planting evidence, destroying evidence, selling evidence, etc.

These problems are ubiquitous and endemic of the deterioration of our country.

0

Jayhawk_4_Life 2 years, 1 month ago

how do they not release the names? if i were to go rob a kwik shop then get arrested my name would be printed in the paper...such BS

0

equalaccessprivacy 2 years, 1 month ago

The DAs, cops, KU authorities, etc. are all enmeshed in a crooked, conflict-of-interest racket. Lawrence is run by crooks.

0

Number_1_Grandma 2 years, 1 month ago

“I don’t think the public needs to worry here that we’re talking about a ton of tickets,” Khatib said. “This is not a widespread, systemic amount of officers. I can tell you that. It is not that huge of an amount.

“It is not indicative of all of the officers. The public does not need to worry about how many officers are doing this. The vast majority of officers are doing an excellent job, and occasionally some people drop the ball. That is what we’re dealing with here. That is it.”


If this is the case, why not full disclosure of the names of the officers involved and the number of tickets we're talking about. Chief Khatib, this is not transparent and open and you claim your direction as police chief was going to be after Olin left. Which leads to why we can't hire within when it comes to heads of departments! The city manager should have been hired from outside. The head of fire/police should have been outside the department too! If we are to continue hiring within ( This is fine ) we have to have a CITIZENS REVIEW COMMITTEE!!!

0

oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 1 month ago

It's a bit hard to vote Khatib out since he was appointed. It's a bit hard to vote out Corliss since he was hired. Now then, the commissioners could be voted out but the next bunch may be just as boring and inept.

So as for the names of the officers, it's pretty easy. You got a couple of neighbors around time who work for the police department that are not going to work?

The real question unanswered is: Did the officers "fixing" the tickets also issue the speeding citations and if not, how did it just happen that two officers happened to be the only ones issuing? You think that maybe some other officers issued the traffic violations and then the "two" became involved.

Again, this gets back to Commissioner Dever's concern about presenting the city as being friendly ot business and changing the perception. Mr. Dever, change the way you do business within the city government.

Any tickets "fixed" would be easily accountable for at the City Prosecutor's office level. It is really quite simple. Aren't the tickets written with a number at the top? Missing numbers? Why doesn't the Journal World interview the current city prosecutor and inquire how many tickets have been dismissed from his office? List the types of infractions for starters. This is not to say, that some should not have been dismissed for proper reasons such as improper signage, blah and blah, but a speeding ticket should have documenation with radar to validate it.

One thing for sure, the Journal World can milk this story for a while as Mr. Weiss trys to sell the football program and the Family Plan. Just think how much fun it will be in a few years with a winning football team and those tickets become so valuable as well.

0

fudgystuff 2 years, 1 month ago

Hope the two officers are on unpaid leave and will eventually be fired. I think Khatib needs to go. He is probably on the take also, we just don't know it. Do we NOT have any law abiding officers anymore? I believe that if you have a boss or supervisor that does not lead by example and basically shows that anything goes then his team or employees will do the same. Khatib is not a good role model and we need to vote him OUT...

0

somedude20 2 years, 1 month ago

Shady! The Police and Feds can get access to what type of underwear you like and listen to you whisper sweet nothings to old Mary Jane Rottencrotch but we can not be told who, how many tickets, ect.

If Chief Kabob wanted to set a new tone in this town, he ain't doing it!

0

smitty 2 years, 1 month ago

Khatib is part of the long term problem

JW 2003 **Giving and getting In most cases, people make such agreements because they want something out of the deal, said Lawrence Police Sgt. Tarik Khatib, who heads the Drug Enforcement Unit, a joint operation between Lawrence Police and the Sheriff's Office.

In some cases, police might give a cooperating individual money for groceries, gasoline or a month's rent, Khatib said. More often, he said, the individuals are facing criminal charges -- say, theft or forgery -- and they want to avoid serving time***......

BAU for the LPD for years and years and Khatib calls it good. That's our internally hired chief who joined the LPD in 1991 at the time of the cover up of Gregg Sevier's killing. His entire tenure at the LPD on the drug unit.

Khatib was also involved early on in the YH's largest fencing operation in the history of the LPD. Guy and Carrie Neighbors have started from the very start that there is LPD corruption involved.

BTW, how did Khatib have time to do an investigation into a fencing operation when he was head of the drug unit. The archives tout how high the numbers are for such a small drug unit. hmmm

FYI...that list of names provided by Maracas is the list of intended law suits from the YH owners. The first of those civil suits was filed against Mike Riner and the KUPD the first of the month and posted in full on three other stories this past week.

Khatib is on that list.

May the truth will out.

0

nativeson 2 years, 1 month ago

“It is not indicative of all of the officers. The public does not need to worry about how many officers are doing this. The vast majority of officers are doing an excellent job, and occasionally some people drop the ball. That is what we’re dealing with here. That is it.”

This quote by Chief Khatib is the issue. The quicker this investigation is fully vetted by someone outside the police department and the City, the better. I respect the need for privacy, but this goes to the credibility of the police department and its ability to monitor its own activites.

In the end, it has less to do with the offense, and more to do with the trust between the public and the department. Unfortunately, Chief Khatib's quote seems hollow since we have no idea of the size of the problem. It is hard to imagine that this stops with two individuals given the close-knit nature of the department.

0

Slowponder 2 years, 1 month ago

I feel so much better now the hangin'-by-a-thread Chief has declared that not all officers were involved. Now when an officer approaches me, do I offer him tickets, coupons, sparkly things because I don't know which ones are interested in violating the City policy against accepting a gratuity. Hangin'-by-thread has made it confusing in the field of bribery. We just don't know who to bribe. Branson is burning the late-night oil and defense attorneys have a new mandatory question: Disclose every time the arresting officer was approached with a gratuity in violation of the City policy. What a mess. . . . .

0

Maracas 2 years, 1 month ago

Remember, it's wasn't a bribe. It was a "gratuity". LOL Our city officials and LPD administrators are hilarious. And they worry about credibility. LOL And good for Bell advising his clients not to plead to any cases involving Lawrence police officers. It appears several may be corrupt . . . er . . . negligent in accepting "gratuities".

0

Benjamin Roberts 2 years, 1 month ago

"Khatib, who was promoted to police chief in February 2011, received an anonymous letter in May 2011 about the allegations involving the police department, and it was eventually referred to federal authorities."

May 2011. June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February. Nine months before any public disclosure? This is transparent and open?

0

LJ Whirled 2 years, 1 month ago

Bribery is a crime, not a 'personnel matter'. Same goes for conspiracy and solicitation to commit bribery.
This a criminal matter, not a policy matter.

0

LeRoyMercer 2 years, 1 month ago

If the PD is really interested in stopping the officers who line up for gratuities they should also start looking (wink wink) at some of the bars in town. The constant line of off duty officers who recieve free drinks and other "gratuities" at a number of establishments in town should be common knowledge to the department. Let's see if that happens.

0

0day 2 years, 1 month ago

I get a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg. With the last police chief and now this, I have very little respect for LPD.

0

Sigmund 2 years, 1 month ago

cheeseburger (anonymous) says… "Any guesses as to where the anonymous letter originated? My money is on Laura Routh."

I'll take that bet. Routh has never done anything anonymous, nope she would have held a news conference and written two letters to the editor.

0

cheeseburger 2 years, 1 month ago

'Khatib, who was promoted to police chief in February 2011, received an anonymous letter in May 2011 about the allegations involving the police department,'

Any guesses as to where the anonymous letter originated? My money is on Laura Routh.

0

pace 2 years, 1 month ago

I hope it was just speeding tickets. That is pretty bad. I am glad this has been brought to light and not covered up. I wonder if consideration of the anonymous person might send a letter to someone else was a motivating factor in disclosure. I hope not. My thanks to that person. I am glad it was not handled as just a inside personnel matter.

0

Sigmund 2 years, 1 month ago

Food_for_Thought (anonymous) says… "It's funny...everyone is making a big deal about LPD referring to this incident as a "violation of department policy" and ignoring the "criminal" aspect of this issue."

Ever read a police report? In them police officers clearly state what laws they believe, based on their training, experience, and investigation were broken. This includes collecting evidence, obtaining statements and confessions, and stating what they believe are any aggravating factors. If they did not list bribery as a possible charge in their reports just what would you call it, an oversight?

Sure it is is up to the DA to file formal charges, but police regularly state in police reports what crimes they think are supported by their investigation, but somehow "bribery" just never came to mind? Go figure.

In any case, if the police investigated and the DA prosecuted, every city employee who had grease on their palms who was found next to a wheeler dealer campaign contributor with a oil can in their hand using it to lubricate the local government machinery, there would be a lot less resources to prosecute us civilians and they just can't have that.

Much like the case of our former mayor, this obvious felony will be deemed by the DA to be a "technical" violation that will never be "technically" prosecuted unless some outside entity like a state or federal AG gets involved. You can't fight city hall if the local police and DA just aren't interested in crimes committed by those who they pass in the halls, share office space with, or see at campaign fundraisers. Just wouldn't be neighborly.

0

rockchalker52 2 years, 1 month ago

Not exactly on topic here, but there's a point to these speeding tickets. Over the past 16 years, I've been cited twice for speeding. Once was on 27th near Barbasol Ct. or whateverthehell. The other was on 1057 out by the driving range. The deputy was a #$^$*&&?!! on that one. But ya know what, I've never sped at either location ever since. Ya don't hafta draw me a picture. I can take a hint.
Oh, yeah, everybody sucks in this story. I yam disappoint.

0

oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 1 month ago

Why was the person who was caught speeding in such a hurry? It's a wonder with all of that speeding that wreck didn't occur.

How many speeding tickets have you gotten over the past two years, JW reader?

0

Food_for_Thought 2 years, 1 month ago

It's funny...everyone is making a big deal about LPD referring to this incident as a "violation of department policy" and ignoring the "criminal" aspect of this issue.

NEWS FLASH: POLICE AGENCIES DO NOT CHARGE FOR CRIMES. POLICE AGENCIES REPORT/REFER INCIDENTS TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE FOR REVIEW OF POSSIBLE CRIMINAL CHARGES TO BE FILED.

As far as Chief Khatib and the LPD administration is concerned, they only have say / control of department policy and can only act on policy violation, NOT criminal charges. This is WHY it is being referred to Charles Branson. If charges aren't filed, you can cry to the DA's Office, not LPD. If LPD never referred the incident to the DA's Office, THEN you could blame LPD.

0

DillonBarnes 2 years, 1 month ago

I read smitty's comments and agreed....

I don't know how to feel.

0

smitty 2 years, 1 month ago

Khatib and Corliss have said “several” members of the department were involved in the dismissal of tickets but contended one individual orchestrated the matter.

Several members of the department involved implies the ticket offer was out to anyone in the department. How many knew regardless of participation? Did Khatib know when he was head of the drug unit? Did Khatib participate as an officer?

IMO, those KU tickets were for more than quieting speeding tickets.

0

doc1 2 years, 1 month ago

There will be website up soon with the names of the Sergeants... er Officers involved.

0

cowboy 2 years, 1 month ago

Khatib presented himself as a professional , above board type of person. To date he has failed in the leadership position at LPD. The course is quite simple. Full disclosure , termination for ethics violations , complete sunlight on the "fixing" process. Immediate stop to any further interference in the ticket process. Had you acted last week you might have been a hero , now you are just hanging on. Do the right thing , or in cop talk , man up Khatib.

0

Patricia Davis 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm glad this is getting some sunlight. Something tells me gallons of bleach may be needed to disinfect the culture of entitlement at our police department. This whole business of police having "discretion" regarding tickets is a crime.

0

DillonBarnes 2 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like a textbook definition of bribery to me. People are imperfect, and that means police are imperfect. However, I judge a department's legitimacy by how the department reacts to misconduct by its officers. To me, there is a difference between a mistake made in the heat of the moment and a well thought and planned misconduct. All parties involved had plenty of time to realize what they were doing was wrong and rectify it, but they did not.

I hope one or both officers are dismissed.

0

Sigmund 2 years, 1 month ago

rvjayhawk (anonymous) says… "Who really thinks Branson will do anything?"

Especially if those attorney's practice criminal law in Douglas County, are democrats, and contributed to his to past campaigns or will contribute to his next election campaign?

0

Sigmund 2 years, 1 month ago

Typically traffic infractions like speeding are not crimes. However, offering or receiving any bribe is a felony. Seems like ALL parties need to be named and prosecuted.

21-6001. Bribery. (a) Bribery is: (1) Offering, giving or promising to give, directly or indirectly, to any person who is a public officer, candidate for public office or public employee any benefit, reward or consideration to which the person is not legally entitled with intent thereby to influence the person with respect to the performance of the person's powers or duties as a public officer or employee; or (2) the act of a person who is a public officer, candidate for public office or public employee, in requesting, receiving or agreeing to receive, directly or indirectly, any benefit, reward or consideration given with intent that the person will be so influenced.

(b) Bribery is a severity level 7, nonperson felony. Upon conviction of bribery, a public officer or public employee shall forfeit the person's office or employment. Notwithstanding an expungement of the conviction pursuant to K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-6614, and amendments thereto, any person convicted of bribery under the provisions of this section shall be forever disqualified from holding public office or public employment in this state. http://kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/statute/021_000_0000_chapter/021_060_0000_article/021_060_0001_section/021_060_0001_k/

Just another "technical" violation of the law that won't be "technically" prosecuted. If the DA prosecuted every city or county employee who technically violated the laws, there would be less time left for prosecuting civilians.

0

4chewnut 2 years, 1 month ago

The city's gratuity policy may have been violated. Really?! That comment makes me very wary of the PD. Shouldn't it clearly be a more serious violation?

0

OonlyBonly 2 years, 1 month ago

I have a feeling there's more than one defense attorney clamoring for those names. Fixing tickets would tend to slightly "discredit" an Officer's credibility IMHO.

0

Milton Bland 2 years, 1 month ago

Who really thinks Branson will do anything?

0

nangasaur 2 years, 1 month ago

Every person who has ever been convicted of, fined, or had a judgment against them for crimes charged of them by the officers involved will now be able to have those convictions overturned, fines reimbursed, and arrest records expunged.

Police officer corruption where their credibility proves to be questionable only serves to make themselves an invalid witness against the accused.

Judging from the civil suit published, one of the officers involved could potentially be one of the drug squad detectives. If that's the case...oh man, I can foresee a lot of drug convictions overturned.

0

Steve Swaggerty 2 years, 1 month ago

Why even report this if the names aren't going to be released. Seems like a waste of time and space in the paper!! Public doesn't know anymore than we did before.

0

0day 2 years, 1 month ago

Personal matter? ~rolls eyes~

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.