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False Accusations After Speeding Ticket Result In Discipline For NY Lawyer

A New York lawyer will face six months of suspension for lying to get out of a speeding ticket and falsely claiming that the state trooper made anti-Semitic comments.

NY attorney Eliott Dear was pulled over in July 2007 by a New Jersey state trooper.  He was issued a speeding ticket for driving 84 mph in a 55 mph zone.

A few days after the issuance of the summons, Dear wrote a letter to the traffic court on his law firm’s letterhead.  He accused the officer of calling him a “Jew Kike.”

When an Internal Affairs officer interviewed Dear by telephone he repeated his claims of anti-Semitic behavior.  Dear also cited the officer’s failure to acknowledge his explanation for speeding: that his pregnant wife needed a bathroom.

Fortunately for the officer, his car and uniform were rigged to video and audio recording devices throughout the car stop.  Neither recording supported Dear’s version of the incident.

Internal Affairs cleared the trooper of wrongdoing and the state police subsequently lodged a complaint against Dear using the recording and the Internal Affairs interview as their primary evidence.

After it was all said and done, Dear paid the $265 ticket.  He admitted that the trooper never used an ethnic slur against him. A disciplinary committee for the New York appellate court’s Manhattan-based first department made five charges against Dear, and the lawyer admitted to them.   Despite Dear’s plea for a censure or reprimand, the hearing panel recommended a six-month suspension, which the appellate division granted on Dec. 8.

This could have caused irreparable damage to this officer’s career, reputation and family.  This could have caused tremendous tension in the community.   Makes you wonder sometimes what people are thinking.