Two Lawrence police officers suspended following investigation related to fixed traffic tickets

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Two Lawrence police officers have been suspended following an investigation related to fixed traffic tickets in exchange for University of Kansas basketball tickets.

Lawrence Police Chief Tarik Khatib told 41 Action News he got an anonymous letter in May 2011 that accused two police officers of fixing municipal traffic tickets in exchange for KU basketball tickets. In that letter, one officer was named.

The chief decided to launch an internal investigation because there was an officer named. They interviewed several people. At some point in the investigation, they thought there could be criminal charges so they turned it over to the U.S. attorney's office in June or July. Then, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began to investigate because of possible police corruption.

The two officers were placed on administrative duties at some point during the investigation and they knew they were under investigation.

RELATED | KU students tired of the ticket scandal

According to Khatib, the FBI returned the case to the Lawrence Police Department in January 2012 and said there was no crime for which they would pursue charges.

It is now up to the Lawrence Police Department to determine a finding. The suspended officers could be disciplined including just a reprimand or termination.

City of Lawrence policy on neglect of duty, gratuities: http://lawrenceks.org/city_code/system/files/chapter13.pdf

Khatib said he'll make a final decision. He would not say if the suspensions were paid or unpaid leave. He wouldn't comment on if the officers have lawyers.

"I'm disappointed if these allegations are true, but this isn't a systemic problem in the police department. Things like this overshadow the great work done by our officers," said Khatib.

The Lawrence City Manager's Office, the Lawrence City Attorney, the FBI, and the Lawrence Police Department were all involved in the investigation.

Khatib said the case is tied to one person in prison for taking part in the KU ticket scandal.

Seven university employees, 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.

Complete 41 Action News Coverage of the KU ticket Scandal:  http://www.kshb.com/generic/sports/Sports_Special_WilliamsFund

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