Local News

Cop in 'Ticketgate' case rejoins Fayetteville police

Posted July 30, 2009 3:49 p.m. EDT

— A police officer who resigned early last year amid a political controversy over a voided traffic ticket has rejoined the Fayetteville Police Department, officials said Thursday.

Officer Jennifer Rodriguez returned to duty Monday.

In October 2007, Rodriguez cited a woman with running a red light and causing a wreck at the intersection of Stoney Point and Gillis Hill roads. The woman's husband, a former deputy garrison commander at Fort Bragg, called Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne that evening to complain, and police voided the ticket shortly after Chavonne and City Manager Dale Iman visited the woman in the hospital.

Police later charged the other driver with running the red light and causing the wreck.

The case sparked an outcry from Fayetteville residents, who dubbed the incident "Ticketgate" and called for an investigation into what they said was favorable treatment.

The City Council rebuked Chavonne for intervening in the police investigation, and he apologized for the perception of favoritism his actions created.

The council tried to reinstate the initial ticket but backed off after Cumberland County District Attorney Ed Grannis threatened to pursue obstruction of justice charges against council members.