Former cop pleads guilty to taking $5K to `forget` ticket - FOX 35 News Orlando

Former cop pleads guilty to taking $5K to `forget` ticket

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A former Chicago Police officer who pleaded guilty to soliciting a $5,000 bribe to "forget" about a traffic ticket was sentenced to two years probation Thursday.

Harold Rodriguez was an 18-year Chicago Police veteran working in the Southwest Side Ogden District at the time of his arrest in September 2012.

The CPD Internal Affairs Division began investigating him after a motorist contacted police about a traffic stop Rodriguez performed, officials said previously.

Rodriguez told the motorist he "makes a lot of arrests, I can forget about your case if you pay me $5,000," according to court documents filed after his arrest.

Rodriguez recognized the driver as a person he had arrested in 2011 for a felony traffic violation, court documents said. The officer then gave the motorist his cell phone number and told him to call over the weekend.

In a conversation overheard by an Internal Affairs detective, the motorist told Rodriguez he had the money and they agreed to meet at a restaurant near the Cook County Criminal Courthouse.

Internal Affairs provided the motorist with $5,000, which he gave Rodriguez in front of undercover detectives, court documents said. The officer then said he would not remember the ticket.

Rodriguez was arrested outside the restaurant in possession of the money, according to court documents.

On Thursday, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to felony counts of bribery and official misconduct, the Cook County State's Attorney's office said.

Associate Judge Lawrence Edward Flood sentenced him to 24 months probation, and ordered him to pay a $670 fine, the state's attorney's office said.

Rodriguez was stripped of his police powers without pay after he was arrested, police said previously. He resigned from the department this past July, police spokesman Adam Collins said.

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