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New Orleans, La. -
An Orleans Parish grand jury has indicted a New Orleans police officer.
Officer John Ray, a 37-year veteran, was indicted Thursday on one count of public bribery.
FOX 8 News received this press release from NOPD late Thursday night:
NOPD Officer John Ray was arrested tonight and immediately placed on emergency suspension without pay after being indicted by an Orleans Parish Grand Jury for Public Bribery.
Ray, who was at one time assigned to the department's Towing and Recovery Unit, is accused of accepting cash payments from a local towing company to allow only its drivers to haul off heavy equipment in a specific, designated city tow zone. The arrangement meant that Ray turned away another towing company who wanted to the same work.
Ray allegedly received $600 total between 2010 and 2011 to steer business in favor of the one towing business.
An NOPD officer learned of Ray's arrangement, relayed the information to his supervisor, and that supervisor promptly notified the Public Integrity Bureau (PIB).
PIB conducted an investigation and turned over its findings to the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office. In turn, that office presented the case to the Grand Jury, who indicted Ray today.
John Ray had been reassigned to desk duty in the Juvenile Division since December 31, 2011, which is when the PIB investigation started. Ray had been with the department for 37 years.
"It's encouraging, and another example of the changing culture of the NOPD, to know that a fellow police officer learned of this alleged scam, and went straight to his supervisor to report it. The Public Integrity Bureau detectives were then alerted, and are confident in their findings", said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
"Our officers followed protocol and did the right thing, which benefits all members of this department who are working hard every day to earn the trust and respect of the people they serve."
Attorney Eric Hessler is representing Ray in the case.
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