Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- A New Orleans Police officer was arrested and placed on suspension for writing more than 200 fake tickets, allegedly to get overtime pay.
NOPD officials believe, since June, officer Glen Gross -- a 22-year veteran with the force -- wrote more than 200 phantom tickets, while working an overtime detail operated through a federal grant.
“Gross claimed that he had pulled over 215 drivers for not having their seat belts fastened," said NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas. “An alert NOPD traffic division supervisor detected a pattern in the tickets that caused him to be concerned. He immediately passed that information up the chain to the Public Integrity Bureau.”
And through an investigation launched earlier this month, PIB officials began uncovering more about the alleged scheme, which they say Gross used to collect more overtime pay.
“They were real license plates, but much of the information didn’t match, and as someone did what I call an internal check, and was able to see that there was some problems with the tickets," said Deputy Superintendent Arlinda Westbrook of Public Integrity Bureau.
“They brought it immediately to my office to avoid what I think would have been very disastrous to many citizens had they not come forward and let us know what was going on," Westbrook said.
While the investigation continues to find whether any other officers participated in the scheme, Serpas reiterated he does not believe any drivers were actually issued these false tickets.
“The information is phantom," Serpas said. "Some parts of the information may have been accurate, and we’re gonna continue to look into that, but they didn’t link to real events and real people.”
According to our partners at Uptown Messenger, Gross leads the neighborhood’s Uptown Triangle Neighborhood Association security patrol.