NY Democrat Councilwoman pulled rank to avoid $50 ticket, nailed with $5k fine

Bronx Democrat and Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson was nailed a fine of $5000 after she called a local police precinct's commander to bail her out for a $50 ticket. She used her rank to get out of the charge after being caught for driving while using her mobile phone. 

The former top police watchdog agreed to pay the amount after seeking the intervention of an NYPD Deputy Chief for a traffic summons. She admits to have used her City position to benefit herself, saying "I acknowledge that, by seeking the intervention of an NYPD Deputy Chief with respect to a traffic summons, I used my City position to benefit myself. She tells all of this in a settlement with the Conflicts of Interest board. 

The chair of the city's public safety committee, ironically got caught by Officer Michele Hernandez for talking to someone on the phone while driving. She was caught at a routine traffic stop. When she was caught, Gibson demanded for Kevin Catalina, the commanding officer of the 44th Precinct of the New York Police Department.

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She refuses to admit that she ordered Catalina to intervene on her behalf and interfere with the issuance of a traffic summons. Catalina broke protocol by calling the precinct's desk officer who contacted Hernandez, ordering her not to give Gibson a ticket. 

Catalina then handed the phone to Hernandez who was told about Gibson's position in the committee, stating she should be given a warning, not a ticket. 

For that, Hernandez sued the Democrat for $35 million in 2016, accusing her of police brass after making her rip Gibson's ticket. She also included the involvement of Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and her staff who then harassed her for Gibson, an act of retaliation for a simple traffic stop. 

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Hernandez's federal lawsuit was dismissed. The Bronx DA"s office denies claims. However, Gibson admits that she did do Hernandez wrong, saying she should not have challenged the ticket. She now apologizes for her actions, saying “I should have accepted a ticket if one was issued, and then contested it through the appropriate legal channels." 

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