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Thousands of fake traffic tickets recorded by CT state police to be formally reviewed

Jessica Hill
Associated Press
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement that he has "great faith in the overwhelming majority of our troopers."

Thousands of fake traffic tickets recorded by Connecticut state police will now be the subject of an independent review, state officials announced Monday.

A recent audit found hundreds of Connecticut state police troopers falsified information on at least 26,000 traffic stops from 2014 to 2021, skewing reports on the race and ethnicity of pulled-over motorists.

Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, said the law firm Finn Dixon and Herling will interview state troopers and other people as part of their review into why the erroneous records were created.

The effort will be led by Deirdre Daly, Connecticut's former U.S. attorney.

The leader of the Connecticut state police said in a statement Monday he has ordered troopers to cooperate with the investigation.

"I have issued an order today to all state troopers instructing them to cooperate with the investigation and come forth with relevant information," Connecticut State Police Colonel Stavros Mellekas said. "The Connecticut State Police takes this matter very seriously and we have already instituted several reforms based on the recently released audit. We look forward to continuing that work. We welcome this investigation and will cooperate fully."

Lamont said in a statement that he has "great faith in the overwhelming majority of our troopers."

Ryan Caron King

"To protect public confidence in them we must get to the bottom of this and learn how it happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it from ever happening again," Lamont said.

Data analysts with the University of Connecticut said the erroneous reports resulted in too many drivers being identified as white. They cautioned, however, that they did not try to determine whether the records were intentionally falsified or were wrong due to carelessness or human error.

The audit was spurred by a Hearst Connecticut Media report last year that said four state troopers in an eastern Connecticut barracks intentionally created hundreds of bogus traffic stop tickets to boost their productivity numbers. After internal affairs investigations, one trooper was suspended for 10 days, another was suspended for two days and the other two retired before the probe was completed.

Lamont's office said anyone wishing to contact Daly may do so confidentially by filling out the form online at fdh.com/confidentialform or by calling 800-711-6348.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.
Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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