4:49pm October 31, 2011

Sixteen New York Police Department officers pleaded not guilty to charges of widespread fixing of traffic tickets as well as more serious crimes, in the second scandal to hit the force in a week.

Five civilians were also netted in the nearly three-year undercover probe that involved the wire tapping of more than 10,000 phone calls and resulted in indictments containing some 1,600 misdemeanor and felony counts.

Although most charges were for relatively minor crimes of tampering with traffic tickets to help friends and relations, the probe bared an ugly side to New York’s so-called “Finest” just days after the arrest of officers in an unrelated gun-running scandal.

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