NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Federal authorities are taking over the investigation into claims that Connecticut State Police troopers falsified thousands of tickets.
In a taping for This Week in Connecticut, Connecticut State’s Attorney Patrick Griffin announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will take over the probe.
“In early July, the Department of Justice requested that DC investigation be stood down, if you will, because the DOJ is taking over,” Griffin told News 8’s Dennis House. “I agreed with that decision. I think DOJ brings the tools and the resources necessary to conduct this investigation on the one hand. On the other, I think that the investigation will be thorough. I think that it will be independent.”
Griffin added that when it’s finished, “I’m hopeful that we’ll get to the bottom of this.”
“If people need to be held accountable, either in federal court or in state court, we’ll do that,” he said.
When the state is asked to stand down on the investigation, it means that two parallel investigations won’t be done at the same time.
“And without being overly simplistic, you can’t have two cooks in the same kitchen working off the same cookbook,” Griffin said.
He could not provide an estimate on when the probe may be finished.
An audit found that more than 1,000 troopers issued at least one fake ticket over an eight-year period.
Researchers on behalf of the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project looked at 800,000 tickets turned in to the board and compared them to tickets that went through the actual court system. They found that the number of falsified tickets could be between 26,000 and 58,000.
The data, in turn, skewed reports on the race and ethnicity of those pulled over. While no one actually received a ticket, it appears as though troopers ticketed more white drivers while underreporting traffic stops with people of color.
According to the report, one trooper assigned to Troop F wrote 1,350 fake tickets over three years.