PR ex-mayor defends seizure of cops' citation pads

AP News
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Posted: Dec 14, 2009 3:16 PM

A former Puerto Rican mayor is accused of seizing police officers' traffic citation books to boost his image in city elections.

Puerto Rico Government Ethics Office spokeswoman Lorna Castro says that Marcos Irizarry is accused of trying to curry favor with voters by ordering officers not to issue traffic tickets and of keeping their pads of citations for more than three months. She said Monday that he has not yet been charged with any crime.

Irizarry says he took the books while he was mayor because he wanted less focus on issuing citations and more on solving robberies. He tells radio station WKAQ that he only meant to reduce crime.

Irizarry was mayor of Lajas for 11 years. He lost last year's bid for re-election.