speeding ticket

Officers guilty in speeding ticket case

Two police officers who conspired to help a woman illegally to get out of a speeding ticket were convicted Thursday.

The duo is identified as Erik Michael Krause, 44, a 22-year veteran of the Huntington Beach Police Department, and Michael John Zannitto, 47, an 11-year veteran of the Garden Grove Police Department. According to the Orange County district attorney’s office, both were found guilty of misdemeanor conspiracy to obstruct justice.

And to think that the two guys, Krause and Zannitto were veteran police officers and did not even know each other before they committed the crime.

It was on Nov. 9, 2011 that Krause issued a traffic citation to a 32-year-old unnamed lady-driver who was allegedly speeding near a stopped school bus. He wrote detailed notes on the ticket.

While he was in off duty on the same month, Zannitto met the lady-driver at Knott’s Berry Farm and told her he could get her ticket dismissed.

According to the D.A, next month, Zannitto texted the lady-driver asking for a copy of the ticket, and she sent him a message some days later with pictures of alcohol and an offer to exchange alcohol for dismissing the ticket. Since the lady-driver works in an alcohol industry, she has accessed to many kinds of alcoholic drinks.

On the 20th of January, the lady-driver sent Zannitto a picture of the citation that had been issued by Krause. Zannitto instructed her to contest the citation by written declaration.

Around that date, Zannitto received the picture of the citation so he called the Huntington Beach Police Department and spoke with Krause under the pretense of discussing a ticket his sister received. He identified himself as a Garden Grove police officer.

Krause and Zannitto discussed matters relating to the citation on Jan. 25, and it was then that Zannitto instructed the lady-driver to request a trial by written declaration with the court, which she did.

Sometime soon after, Krause told Zannitto that he was willing to dismiss the lady-driver’s citation, which he relayed to the lady-driver via text message on Feb. 3. She responded that she would give both officers a bunch of alcohol.

According to the district attorney’s office, Krause then sent a request to the court that the citation be dismissed and declared he had no notes, despite having written them on the lady-drivers ticket.

This aroused the suspicion of a Huntington Beach lieutenant about Krause’s declaration and asked for an opened investigation.

The two could be sentenced to probation and up to one year in jail at their sentencing at 9 o’clock in the morning of Jan. 25 at the West Justice Center in Westminster.

Accident victims have rights. You may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, wage loss and medical bills. Contact an experienced speeding ticket lawyers now for a free consultation.

If you have received a traffic ticket, please contact an experienced speeding ticket lawyers. Protect your right to drive legally

Source: Huntington Beach Independent

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