2nd officer resigns in wake of botched prostitution sting
Mar 16, 2013 (Star-News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A second member of the Wilmington Police Department's Narcotics Enforcement Unit, which was involved in a botched prostitution sting last year, has resigned.
Officer Andy Lazzaro resigned from the force this week, police spokeswoman Lucy Crockett confirmed Saturday.
Lazzaro, who had been with the department since 2002, was demoted to officer last month. He had been a corporal.
Lazzaro's resignation comes days after another officer assigned to the Narcotics Enforcement Unit, Cpl. J.P. Fitzgerald, quit.
Lazzaro and Fitzgerald, along with a third officer, Sgt. Will Richards, all faced disciplinary actions in recent weeks, though police officials have refused to confirm whether they are connected to the sting.
Police Chief Ralph Evangelous has said the sting was a poorly run undercover operation targeting escort services acting as fronts for prostitution.
The undercover officers invited escorts to an RV. What exactly happened inside is not entirely clear, though officials have said the officers breached departmental guidelines for drinking alcohol and documenting cash expenditures, in addition to other violations.
Also, a $500 video camera, possibly used to record the escorts, disappeared.
At the request of Evangelous and District Attorney Ben David, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation had opened a probe into possible crimes committed by officers connected with the incident.
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