The New York Post by Jamie Schram and Jeane MacIntosh - November 28, 2011
Authorities have told a key informant in the Bronx ticket-fixing scandal to stay out of town for a while, The Post has learned. But the investigators have not told the witness, who helped build Bronx DA Robert Johnson’s case against alleged dirty cop José Ramos, why he should make himself scarce — or even whether he’s the target of threats, sources said. The informant just got a call telling him to keep away at least a week, the sources said. A Johnson spokesman declined comment. The witness helped cops target the 18-year NYPD veteran, whose reputed ties to Bronx drug dealer Lee King sparked the ticket-fixing probe. According to details obtained by The Post, the informant, working with undercover cops, helped lure Ramos to an uptown hotel, where the rogue officer planned to steal what he thought was $60,000 in drug money, sources said. Video surveillance had been set up in the room. The informant went in first, after which Ramos strolled in and took all the cash he could find — $20,000, the sources said. The development came as a trio of police-union honchos indicted in the scandal prepared to fight for their right to continue to be paid while doing union work. The officers — Brian McGuckin, Michael Hernandez and Joseph Anthony — had been suspended for 30 days after being accused of official misconduct and tampering with public records. Their suspension expires today — and the Police Department has indicated it will send them back to a regular department assignment. But their lawyers are set to argue in Manhattan Supreme Court tomorrow that they should be allowed to return to their union duties on the NYPD’s dime, as per their contract.