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The system for fixing traffic tickets in Newburyport, Mass. operated with the simplicity of a Post-It label. Apparently, two court official used the sticky notes to flag cases they planned to fix. Now, the Commonwealth Ethics Commission in Boston has fined the two Newburyport District Court officials $3,000 each for nullifying nine tickets, all of which had been received by friends or family of one of the two men. According to The Newburyport Daily News, Chief Probation Officer Ronald D’Arcangelo would attach Post-Its to cases in which he sought “consideration” for his friends and relatives. The court’s Clerk Magistrate, J. Nicholas Sullivan, would then see the Post-It and, in each case, assert the accused was “not responsible.” That is court patois for an acquittal. Ethics Commission Executive Director Stephanie S. Lovell said of the case, “Standards must be administered in an even-handed way.” It was not clear if the pair will lose their jobs.

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