Ray Kelly's Gulag

Get on the NYPD commissioner's secret list, and you're going nowhere

The entry for Officer Joseph Liotta, meanwhile, reads: "Not suitable for highway."

In January 2007, Liotta pulled over Hoboken, New Jersey, city councilman Chris Campos on the West Side Highway. He and his partner determined that the councilman had been drinking.

Liotta thought it would be a good idea to call Hoboken police and ask them what they thought of Campos. The conversation was automatically tape-recorded.

Flickr - Howard N2GOT Brier
Flickr - NYC Arthur

"Would it be a good or a bad thing for him to become a guest of the city?" Liotta asked Hoboken Police Department duty sergeant James Peck.

The sergeant replied: "Enforce the law. . . . The fact that we've been without a contract for two years, that's beside the point."

Liotta arrested Campos on three drunk-driving misdemeanors. The councilman was found guilty of two, fined, and lost his license for 90 days. Campos also lost his council seat.

Kelly certainly could have fired Liotta for appearing to use his police powers to embarrass a politician, but his solution instead was a transfer.

Campos sued Liotta, Peck, and the NYPD, but the lawsuit was dismissed in 2010.

grayman@villagevoice.com

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