Yankee Executive Had Ticket Fixed by NYPD Cops, Sources Say
By Murray Weiss
DNAinfo Contributing Columnist
A New York Yankees executive allegedly had a speeding ticket fixed by city cops, DNAinfo has learned.
The summons — written to Douglas Behar, the Yankee Stadium senior director of operations — is among hundreds of violations being eyed by prosecutors citywide to determine whether NYPD officers made them disappear as favors to family and friends.
But my sources say some of the officers under investigation benefited with more than a mere "Thank You":
• Some cops got money, free meals or booze in exchange for their "favors."
• Several had renovations done on their homes.
• Others allegedly got their cars repaired for helping kill a ticket.
• Tickets for sporting events also changed hands, though no one is saying that had anything to do with Behar or the Yankees.
Behar was given a speeding ticket last August when he was stopped by a Bronx highway cop, sources said. The ticket was later dismissed, allegedly with the help of police as a "favor." It's not clear how or who was involved in killing the summons.
Behar, a graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, joined the Yankees in 1998. Once a fledgling sports reporter, Behar found his calling rising through the ranks to become the senior director of operations for the Yankees.
In that capacity, Behar was an instrumental figure in the construction of the new in 2009. He is presently responsible for keeping the stadium in tip-top shape for game day.
A spokesman for the Yankees declined comment.
Behar’s summons is among hundreds of tickets at the center of a grand jury probe that I reported will likely end up with a couple of dozen arrest and hundreds of other cops disciplined by the NYPD.
A grand jury in the Bronx, which is reviewing evidence in the probe, can’t handle all the cases. So prosecutors there are going to parcel out cases to their counterparts in the four other boroughs.
I reported on April 12 that the NYPD has a list of at least 24 officers who can not retire until this is over. And they are preparing for several hundreds cops to face departmental charges.
Their targets range from highway cops in Brooklyn and the Bronx, to cops in South Ozone Park, Queens, and to as far north as Washington Heights and Inwood in Manhattan.
According to sources, here is a borough breakdown of the numbers of cops touched by the probe: 55 in Manhattan; 30 in Queens; seven on Staten Island; 30 in Brooklyn; 380 in the Bronx.
There are two husband-and-wife police couples involved. One cop allegedly used a shredder on tickets.
I am withholding everyone's names since no one yet has been charged.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who is declining to discuss specifics until the investigation is completed, implemented a new computer system last summer that tracks the number on the summonses.
The change tightens control because it shows they were written and turned in. And precinct commanders will still have some latitude with their constituents.
It is almost, but not quite, the program used by State Police that puts a written summons immediately into the Department of Motor Vehicle data base, which is digital and nearly impossible to tamper with.