Westchester-based NY state trooper arrested for allegedly falsifying traffic tickets
A New York State Police trooper assigned to the Troop K barracks in Hawthorne was arrested Tuesday and charged with issuing two dozen fake traffic tickets to unsuspecting motorists in 2021 and 2022.
Yorktown resident Edward Longo, 34, was hit with a lengthy 40-count charging document, which alleges he offered a false instrument for filing, a class E felony, and committed official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor.
While sentencing in New York is complicated and based on a variety of factors, the charges Longo faces do carry potential prison terms, with the felony charge allowing for a prison term of up to four years, and the misdemeanor charge allowing for a one-year jail term. Longo's punishment may be further compounded by the fact that he faces multiple counts for both charges.
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“Integrity in law enforcement is paramount," said Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah in a news release. "I commend our partners at the New York State Police for referring this case to our Office and demonstrating their commitment to accountability and transparency.”
Trooper Daniel McMorris, who investigated the case, explained in charging documents that Troop K regularly monitors its officers for performance-related goals in the issuance of traffic tickets. Troopers who do not meet expectations or whose productivity falls below their peers "may be counseled," he said.
According to McMorris, Longo could have been subject to counseling, a potential step toward more severe reprimand, had he not issued the allegedly false tickets.
Several citations indicated by McMorris suggest that recipients of Longo's tickets may not have had any meaningful interactions with the state trooper whatsoever. Many motorists, for example, were never actually pulled over by Longo on the date the ticket was issued, according to charging documents.
More than one individual ticketed by Longo was "not a motorist with a New York state DMV license," McMorris said. The motorists were referred to by pseudonyms in the charging documents.
In one instance, Longo is said to have issued speeding and unsafe driving tickets to a motorist whom he had not actually pulled over. That motorist had died in a car accident earlier that day.
Beyond the circumstances of the incidents, McMorris said that Longo falsified details on the tickets he issued, including recipients' names and dates of birth.
In a statement, State Police spokesperson Beau Duffy said that Longo remains suspended with pay from the force.
“When State Police learned of a possible falsified traffic ticket scheme by one of our members, we immediately launched a criminal investigation in collaboration with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office that resulted in the charges filed," he said. "Integrity is one of our core values, and we hold our members to the highest standards. We thoroughly investigate every complaint, and if any member breaks the law they are held accountable."
Michele Crisafulli, the spokesperson for the troopers' union, declined to comment. Longo could not be reached for comment.
Have you been unfairly ticketed by a police officer? Contact reporter Asher Stockler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: NYS trooper arrested for allegedly falsifying 24 traffic tickets