Dear, who previously oversaw debt cases, only got the opportunity to make this nutty decision after volunteering for criminal-case duty on the weekends.
His ruling, however, was so egregious, it turned into one-strike-and-he’s-out.
An ethically challenged ex-city councilman, Dear ruled on June 14 that the long-accepted practice of a police officer sniffing a suspected alcoholic drink and subsequently writing a summons wasn’t good enough.
So, even though the violator admitted that he was drinking beer on the street, Dear tossed the summons.
That decision could have had ramifications beyond that specific case.
Had his undermining of quality-of-life summonses caught on, a key NYPD tactic used to reduce crime over the last two decades would have been fractured.
As a police source told The Post’s Brad Hamilton, “I’d say 10 to 15 percent of the time we issue a violation, we find they’re wanted for something else.”
Such a prospect was enough for the Dear experiment to come to an abbreviated end.
A court spokesman said that Dear’s work was appreciated, but “at this point, his services are no longer needed.”
Sure got that right.
Dear is reportedly looking to get back into electoral politics, where — this being New York — his out-there views of criminal justice might well get, say, a more receptive hearing.
Thank goodness, though, New Yorkers don’t have to live (or die) with the consequences his bizarre rulings might have had on the street.