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Another Lawrence officer in fixed ticket case off police force
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LAWRENCE — A second Lawrence police officer suspended for allegedly fixing traffic tickets for a University of Kansas athletics department employee is no longer working for the city, Police Chief Tarik Khatib said Thursday.
The Lawrence Journal-World ( ) reported that the city hasn’t identified either officer linked to the ticket scandal. The other officer resigned Feb. 24.
“As this still is a personnel matter, we will not identify the person or comment further,” Khatib said.
The two were suspended last month following an investigation into a May 2011 complaint that officers were involved in fixing speeding tickets in exchange for basketball tickets.
City officials have said the officer who resigned last month had a long friendship with an athletics employee who is now in federal prison for his role in a broader ticket scandal at the university. In the scandal, seven people, including top business officials in the athletics department, were convicted in the thefts of more than 17,000 Jayhawk basketball tickets and at least 2,000 football tickets. The tickets were illegally sold to brokers and others, with the defendants pocketing the money.
The city said the athletics employee asked for help with speeding tickets, and the officer who was a friend received free, discounted or special access to athletic events over several years.
That officer asked the second officer two or three times to assist in fixing tickets. The officer who assisted “may have been the beneficiary of KU tickets through the first employee,” according to a Feb. 24 statement Khatib provided about the investigation.
Other speeding tickets were fixed by asking officers who issued or were about to issue a ticket to void it or not issue it, but those officers did not knowingly receive anything in return, Khatib said.
The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office investigated at the city’s request but no federal charges were filed. City Manager David Corliss has said dismissing traffic tickets in exchange for tickets to games violated the city’s gratuity policy. Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson is reviewing the case as well.