Officers Behaving Badly: New Revelations of Unchecked Misconduct Among LA Traffic Cops

Some parking enforcement officers with the LA Department of Transportation are engaging in a range of inappropriate and illegal behavior with little or no consequences.

By Joel Grover
|  Thursday, May 24, 2012  |  Updated 12:52 PM PDT
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Prostitution, stealing, violence and parts in a porn movie. All in a day's work for some City of Los Angeles traffic officers.

Prostitution, stealing, violence and parts in a porn movie. All in a day's work for some City of Los Angeles traffic officers.

First it was porn. Now it’s shoplifting, assault and soliciting prostitutes.

Less than a month after breaking the story of two on-duty LA traffic officers who allegedly appeared in a pornographic movie, NBC4 LA has uncovered what insiders say is a disturbing pattern of unchecked misconduct inside the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

UPDATE: Jimmy Price, parking enforcement chief, to step down. 

“It isn’t just a few bad apples,” said one source, referring to LADOT’s 600 traffic cops, also known as parking enforcement officers. “There are a lot of bad apples in the barrel.”

Among the misbehavior NBCLA documented in confidential files, public records and interviews with seven LADOT sources:

 -An LADOT officer “punched” a motorist who yelled at him.

 -The same officer later threw a heavy steel padlock at a supervisor.

 -An on-duty LADOT officer was arrested while soliciting a prostitute. Two additional officers have been convicted of soliciting prostitutes.

 - An LADOT officer was convicted of shoplifting from a West LA Macy’s, and then later was arrested again on a charge of shoplifting from a supermarket.

All of these employees remain on the job, and have undergone little or no disciplinary action, according to sources within LADOT, even though city policy recommends discipline in cases of  misconduct.

When asked if the findings were an embarrassment to the department, Amir Sedadi, acting general manager at LADOT, said “absolutely.”

“This is a black eye for the entire department,” he said.

A statement from LADOT responding to questions from NBC4 LA on the apparent lack of discipline indicated that the city cannot comment on employee personnel records.

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