The next time a cop lets you off with a warning and a “have a nice day” over that stop for talking on your cell phone or a broken tail light, thank Bronx D.A. Rob Johnson and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
We first wrote about a summons slowdown over a year ago, an outgrowth of those ticket fixing indictments against 16 cops, mostly union delegates carrying on a longstanding department tradition, like it or not.
When Kelly then had Internal Affairs cops slap three-to-ten vacation day rips on cops losing traffic court cases, cops said enough was enough.
They’ve been staging a job action, meeting the basic legal requirement for car stops by giving motorists a “warning and admonishment” - but no summonses.
That means the city has been losing close to a million dollars a week over the past year, with summonses down 30 percent in the Bronx alone.
Post City Hall Bureau Chief Dave Seifman recently dug up hard numbers from Mayor Bloomberg’s budget office showing cops expected to write close to 270,000 fewer summonses by the end of this fiscal year on June 30.
Multiply that by a MINIMUM of your average $115 summons, and that’s a hefty $31-plus million lost to the running-on-empty city coffers.
This all could easily have been avoided - and a number of good careers saved from the crapper - if Kelly had stepped in a long time ago and simply ordered the ticket “courtesy” system ended.
But then, micro-manager Kelly swears he was “shocked, shocked!” to discover the system even existed.
We would advise him, however, NOT to swear to that on a Bible in a thunderstorm....
You better believe Bronx State Sen. Jeff Klein is gloating as fellow Dems sharpen the ax for Senate Democratic Minority Leader John Sampson.
Daily News Albany Bureau Chief Ken Lovett reports the Brooklyn pol is on his way out as leader, whether the Dems take back control of the Senate in November (not likely we say) or not.
Jeff has no love or respect - zip, zero, nada - for Sampson, a less-than-spectacular leader in a job Jeff coveted after being the long-time legislative mop-and-broom guy on the Senate floor.
That’s one of the prime reasons Jeff formed his 4-member breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, to put a lock on the already 32-30 Republican majority.
Working with Majority Leader Dean Skelos has reaped them the rewards of committee chairmanships and mucho moola for their districts, with tacit support from Gov. Cuomo to get the wheels of government rolling smoothly.
And even if Dems somehow manage to squeeze back control by a slim margin, Jeff will still hold sway with his four IDC votes.
We’re just itchin’ to tell this tale. A judge at Bronx criminal court had to gavel a fast adjournment recently when bedbugs were found in the holding pen. A fast steamcleaning, however, and it was case dismissed.
HAVING A BALL
What it lacked in turnout, this year’s Bronx Ball at Orchard Beach made up for it in PAH-TAYing, with honoree Fat Joe pumpin’ up the volume. We hear that after that kerfluffle over some of Joe’s lyrics being demeaning to women, Bronx Boro Prez Ruben Diaz Jr. ordered “radio play versions only!”
*Lotta lovely ladies, including Ruben’s NYPD sergeant sister Damaris, a vision of loveliness in white. Ruben joked that if we had any thoughts of proposing, that would make his state senator dad, The Rev, our father-in-law....
*West Bronx State Sen. Gustavo Rivera at the bar, politely nixing an offer to buy him a drink. Ethics, you know. And with his weight loss mantra, drinking water.
*Term-limited and heading for a federal re-trial over where those city funds went, City Councilman Larry (Bagel Guy) Seabrook stirring it up, talking with us about daughter Latisha maybe looking at his seat. Larry, you fox!
*Among the missing: former BPs Freddy Ferrer and Adolfo Carrion; Riverdale Press editress Kate Pastor, recuperating from knee surgery and unavailable for that tango she promised us.
Lt. Jim Ruane, longtime respected boss of the 4-4 Precinct detective squad in Highbridge, set a May 31 deadline to lay his badge on that velvet pillow at the retirement section after 25 years. That after trying to swing to the Joint Terrorist Task Force. We hear some high ranking bosses finally took his retirement threat seriously, going to Ray Kelly to swing his move to the JTTF, where he’ll have some new shoes to squeeze. Best of luck, pal. And welcome to Lt. Joseph Lyons at the squad.
Northeast Bronx/Mount Vernon state Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson lookin’ like a tall cool drink in a red dress at the 49th Precinct Community breakfast last week.
Her staffer and 80th Assembly District Leader Kenny Agosto said he and Ruth are cheering each other on with a diet and exercdise regimen.
Meanwhile, Venancio (Benny) Catala, heavy-duty Dem Party go-to guy, lookin’ less heavy duty himself these days. Go Benny!
To the family of Catherine Stroud, female district leader in Highbridge’s 77th Assembly District, who died last Thursday.
Bronx Historian Lloyd Ultan, emceeing the Kingbridge Heights Community Center fundraiser June 14 at the Botanical Garden, says the best way to raise bux these days is “put a dollar on the elevator floor and press UP....”
And please, do NOT ask Lloyd what’s new!
Got some hot bochinche (gossip)? Email Kappy at bkappstatt
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