As Abraham Lincoln probably said: your best work is the work that you pretended to do for money. This maxim still rings true today thanks to NYPD officer Paul Pizzuto, who allegedly wrote 36 phony traffic tickets last year so he could claim overtime pay. According to the Post's sources the 17-year veteran would run random license plates for names to use on the tickets, and even used the names of the deceased. Authorities caught on because Pizzuto never sent copies to the DMV or the city's finance department, leaving them in legal limbo at the 120th Precinct. The 40-year-old cop is the third Staten Island officer to be caught writing fake tickets—two other officers were charged with the same crime in February. Pizzuto faces numerous felony charges for his crimes.
Currently, NYPD officers seem to have the opposite problem as these Staten Island cops: they're writing too few legit traffic tickets. 16,695 moving violations were handed out for the second week of July 2010, while last week officers wrote a mere 11,230. Cops blame the department's ultimatum that any ticket that fell apart because of a "procedural flub" would cost them 10 days of vacation, an edict spurred by the ticket-fixing probe that has embarrassed the NYPD and tainted courtrooms across the city.
"Why should I want to write a summons to put myself in jeopardy of losing 10 days' vacation?" one officer asks the Post. Commissioner Kelly is reportedly furious about the decline, and called NYPD Transportation Chief James Tuller for answers. Remember: when you're pulled over for speeding this week, just remind the officer how nice the Sandals resorts are this time of year.