Ex-City Court worker charged in ticket scheme

A former legal and clerical specialist for the Baton Rouge City Court was charged in federal court Friday for her alleged use of telephones and ATM machines in aid of racketeering.

For eight years, according to her charge, Ingrid J. Simon, 48, of Baton Rouge stored closed files and processed traffic tickets that were issued by local police officers.

Simon is charged in a bill of information signed by U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. and Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey R. Amundson. She and her attorney, Brent Stockstill, signed a document waiving her right to have a federal grand jury decide whether she should be indicted.

Court records show FBI agents developed the racketeering case against Simon.

Her charge alleges that from 2007 through 2010, Simon used her court position “to solicit and obtain cash on approximately … 30 occasions in exchange for causing tickets to be improperly dismissed.”

“As part of the scheme, Simon would cause the (City Court) computer records to falsely reflect that the tickets had been dismissed at the request of the prosecutor,” the charge alleges.

Conviction for using telephones and ATM machines in aid of racketeering carries a possible penalty of five years in federal prison.

Simon’s charge does not specify how much money she is alleged to have received for fixing traffic tickets.

The case against Simon is not the first involving City Court in recent years.

But First Assistant U.S. Attorney Walt Green said Friday that Simon’s case is not related to an earlier FBI investigation that resulted in the convictions of nine people in 2009 and 2010. Those convictions were for felonies that included bribery in the fixing of traffic tickets and other matters in City Court.

That FBI investigation sent former senior City Prosecutor Flitcher R. Bell to federal prison for three years. Former Baton Rouge Police Officer Leonard P. Jackson was sent to prison for two years.

The same investigation earned a 20-month prison term for Edward C. “Pooh” James, former chief investigator for the Baton Rouge Public Defender’s Office, and sent former Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Darrell Johnson to prison for 15 months.