Brill Legal Group Advocates for Westchester Cop Fired for Upholding the Law After Ticketing a Lawyer Who Presented a PBA Courtesy Card

Mar 19, 2024

New York, New York – A Westchester County rookie police officer, Joseph Saetta, who allegedly lost his job for issuing a ticket disregarding a presented Police Benevolence Association (PBA) courtesy card, is now seeking justice. Represented by New York defense attorney, Peter Brill of the Brill Legal Group, the former cop has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit along with an Article 78 proceeding to get his name cleared and his job reinstated.

“I did nothing wrong,” said Saetta in an interview with the Daily News, “I want my job back. I want my name cleared.”

The lawsuit is against the Westchester County Public Safety Department, Acting Public Safety Commissioner Terrance Raynor, and Westchester County Executive George Latimer, for dismissing Saetta unjustly. The lawyer who was issued the ticket, Corinne Pascariu-Costo, is also named in the suit.

“He basically was fired from his job for doing his job.” Brill commented, “He apparently violated some unwritten rule that you can’t give a ticket to someone who flashes one of these cards.”

Saetta’s troubles began after he issued a ticket to Pascariu-Costo, for driving with expired temporary tags on her Jeep Cherokee, despite her presenting a police union courtesy card. Saetta, who joined the force three months prior, was dismissed following the incident.

Saetta argued that he had no problem with using discretion when deciding whether to issue a ticket or a warning. However, Pascariu-Costo’s agitated behavior and lack of photo ID, he said, left him with no choice but to issue a ticket.

“When Saetta returned to his patrol car, he told his partner that Pascariu-Costo claimed her license, issued in Vermont, was in the trunk, but that he didn’t want her getting out of the car. Saetta ran a check on her name and ultimately issued her one ticket — for the expired tags.” Brill stated.

The PBA Courtesy Card presented to him by Pascariu-Costo didn’t list the name and number of the officer who gave it to her, leaving Saetta unable to determine its origin. Brill raised the question of the card’s legitimacy, suggesting that it could have been bought from an online site like eBay, where PBA cards are known to be sold.

United States District Court Southern District of New York
Saetta v. Raynor et al
Case Number: 7:24-cv-01785-NSR

Brill Legal Group’s primary defense attorney, Peter Brill, is a former assistant district attorney who knows the law inside and out. His understanding of how prosecutors think and operate gives him a distinct advantage when entering the courtroom or sitting down at the bargaining table. He is supported by the Brill Legal Group’s team of highly experienced criminal law attorneys who have tried hundreds of cases. These accomplished lawyers bring a collective wealth of knowledge and experience that is second to none on Long Island or the Five Boroughs.

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