The Department of Motor Vehicles has once again been linked to a scheme to assist an errant police officer in remaining on the streets.
Once again, the NYPD has taken disciplinary action against a police officer who allegedly received information from a DMV employee on how to exploit the agency’s system. This allowed the officer to re-register his car after failing to maintain proper insurance coverage. This marks the second instance in just a few months where an officer has faced consequences for such actions.
The NYPD recently released a report on their website, revealing that Police Commissioner Edward Caban had fired Robert Lynch, a veteran officer, for his involvement in a plot. The report did not mention what actions were taken against the unnamed DMV worker involved in the incident, as the agency declined to comment on the matter.
In 2019, Lynch encountered a setback when his driver’s license was suspended due to his failure to pay the insurance premium. In an attempt to rectify the situation, he visited the Department of Motor Vehicles seeking assistance. A DMV employee suggested that reporting his license plate missing could help him re-register his vehicle and get his insurance reinstated.
During his July disciplinary hearing, Lynch admitted to following the advice given to him. He went to a precinct station house in Staten Island and filed a report claiming that his license plate was lost, despite it not being the case. The report from the NYPD stated that as a result, his driver’s license and insurance were reinstated.
After pulling off his scam, Lynch went ahead and removed the front plate from his Subaru Legacy and drove on. Over the next three-and-a-half years, he managed to evade payment for tolls and penalties, resulting in an outstanding bill of $59,000. During this period, he made use of MTA bridges and tunnels 755 times, as well as Port Authority bridges and tunnels 723 times, but never paid a dime.
In September of 2022, Lynch was finally pulled over by an MTA police officer for not paying a toll, which led to the discovery of his scam. As a result, he was charged with grand larceny, as well as the lower-level felony of falsifying records for his inaccurate report to the local precinct.
In January of this year, Lynch was suspended without pay, and after several months, he was ultimately fired by Caban on August 23rd.
The similarity between this case and that of Sgt. Adrian DeJesus is striking. The NYPD fired DeJesus this year for his involvement in a ghost-car scam, which he allegedly committed based on the advice of an unidentified DMV supervisor. The supervisor advised him to keep driving even though his license plates were invalid. According to then-NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell’s dismissal ruling, DeJesus claimed that the DMV supervisor told him he could get away with it because he was a police officer and no one would question him.
Similar to DeJesus, Lynch shared a heartbreaking account about how his divorce left him incapable of fulfilling fundamental necessities like paying for his insurance. Lynch’s situation was further complicated as his wife moved to another state during and after their divorce, forcing him to travel long distances to visit his daughter. However, Lynch has accepted responsibility and pleaded guilty to the criminal charges against him. He has also committed to a payment plan to reimburse the tolling agencies, as per Caban’s verdict.
According to the city payroll, Lynch was able to earn $101,000 through overtime in 2022. You can see the details on their website.
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