LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Two Lawrence police officers have been suspended after an FBI investigation into traffic tickets being fixed in exchange for University of Kansas basketball tickets over a span of several years.
City Manager David Corliss confirmed Thursday that the person whose traffic tickets were fixed is serving time in a federal prison related to a broader Kansas ticket scandal, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.
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.
Officials declined to name the person whose tickets were fixed or the officers who were suspended. Dismissing traffic tickets in exchange for the Kansas basketball tickets violated the city’s gratuity policy, Corliss said.
Police Chief Tarik Khatib said his department began an internal investigation after he received an anonymous letter in May 2011 claiming that several police officers “were involved in dismissing some municipal traffic citations in exchange for KU athletic event tickets.”
When the investigation suggested that the matter might become a criminal case, the department contacted the U.S. attorney’s office, Khatib said. The FBI concluded last month there was no criminal activity for federal prosecutors to pursue and returned the matter to the police department, the chief said.
“We’re almost complete with the internal investigation and will take appropriate actions,” he said. “It was originally alleged there might be some criminal violations, but this involves violations of either policy rules or regulations of the Lawrence Police Department or the city of Lawrence.”
Khatib declined to estimate how many tickets were improperly dismissed.