Leaks to officers by police investigators is hampering the ticket-fixing probe in New York, reports the New York Times. A police union official was captured on a wiretap telling a union colleague who was under scrutiny in the case that he had received a call from someone in the Internal Affairs Bureau, and that the caller had warned him that the investigators were on the way, a source said. The timing of the call suggested that someone had leaked information within minutes of a meeting last September by 50 internal affairs investigators.
Investigators suspect that the call was just one of roughly half a dozen instances during the three-year ticket inquiry in which officers believed to be assigned to Internal Affairs leaked information about the case to police union officials, all of them officers, who were under scrutiny, several people with knowledge of the events said. The suspected leaks may be the most damning of the departmental weaknesses unearthed to date in the ticket-fixing investigation. The leak accusations seem to lend support to the argument, long put forward by many current and former prosecutors and police officials as well as academics, corruption experts and politicians, that the Police Department is incapable of policing itself.