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Retired NYPD Chiefs Displaying Buyers' Remorse

July 31, 2017

The four NYPD chiefs and an inspector who retired “voluntarily” under pressure from then-Commissioner Bill Bratton at the height of a federal corruption probe into the department want back pay. They also want their jobs back.

Click here to read what the police brass say about NYPD ConfidentialThey’ve hired a labor lawyer to claw back the tens of thousands of dollars in back pay and accrued leave time they gave up when they filed for retirement (at different times) last year. Roy Richter, who heads the Captains Endowment Association, says a grievance is pending before the city’s labor relations board and an arbitrator has been appointed.

The cops’ chances of getting back their money are greater than their returning to the NYPD, which are slim to none. Final decision rests with Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill, who isn’t about to approve their return, say police sources.

The cops — Deputy Chiefs Andrew Capul, Eric Rodriguez, John Sprague and David Colon and Inspector Peter DeBlasio — were never charged criminally. The chiefs allegedly accepted free dinners, trips and tickets to sporting events, which violate department guidelines. In DeBlasio’s case, he allegedly refused to cooperate with the feds.

Click here to read the New York Times profile of Leonard LevittThey retired under a deal worked out by Richter and NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs Larry Byrne. The agreement included no disciplinary charges, which allowed the officers to receive their “good guy” letters. The letters allow them to obtain pistol permits for future security work in the private sector.

 Ironically, past commissioners — including Bratton, Ray Kelly and Howard Safir — accepted freebies. In Bratton's case, it cost him his job.

Safir, was forced to repay $7,000 to the chief executive of Revlon Corp. after it was disclosed that the exec treated him and his wife to an all-expense weekend at the Oscars in Hollywood, including a flight on Revlon’s corporate jet.

Kelly accepted up to $40,000 of free meals and membership at the Harvard Club, paid for by the non-profit Police Foundation. He also reportedly attended a Notre Dame football game with Regis Philbin, flying to the game in South Bend, Indiana, on Philbin’s private jet.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani used two trips Bratton took on the private jet of Wall Street honcho Henry Kravis as an excuse to fire him.

The current federal probe into the department began with an investigation into Norman Seabrook, head of the corrections officers union.  The feds allege Seabrook received a $60,000 kickback from hedge funder Murray Huberfeld with whom he invested $20 million of union funds. Seabrook and Huberfeld face corruption charges.

The probe expanded into the NYPD after it was discovered that the middleman in the Seabrook-Huberfeld deal was Jona Rechnitz. A donor to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rechnitz also had contacts with high-level police officials, including then-Chief of Department Phil Banks.

Click here to read the Washington Post article on NYPD ConfidentialBanks was never charged criminally or even questioned. Instead, the investigation ended up focusing largely on the department’s pistol licensing division, which has long been vulnerable to corruption that the NYPD never fully cleaned up. The feds charged a number of the division’s lower-level officers.

 While the current allegations against the NYPD top brass have been an embarrassment not seen since the Knapp Commission corruption days of the 1970s, only two of them have been charged criminally. Deputy Inspector James Grant and Deputy Chief Michael Harrington were accused of accepting free meals and gifts.

Grant has been accused of accepting a two-day, $1,000-a-night stay at a Rome hotel from Rechnitz crony Jeremy Reichberg, and frolicking with a prostitute on a private jet Reichberg paid for during an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas.

Harrington has been accused of receiving business thrown by Reichberg to a security company owned by family members, a charge some in the NYPD regard as tenuous.

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