The fallout from the wide ranging federal probe into possible NYPD corruption continued Wednesday as Commissioner William Bratton transferred a respected high ranked officer who was promoted less than a year ago to his current position.
In announcing the transfer of deputy chief Andrew Capul, 56, from his post as executive officer of Patrol Borough Manhattan North, Bratton said in a statement that the move comes in connection with the ongoing probe by the FBI and NYPD internal affairs. Last week Bratton took disciplinary action against four senior police officials, including the commander of Manhattan North.
Bratton wasn’t specific about what led to Capul’s transfer to an unspecified administrative post. One published report said that Capul was questioned about a plane trip he took to a recent Super Bowl.
“I am confident deputy chief Capul is not a target of the FBI probe,” said Roy Richter, head of the captain’s union. “ He has been fully cooperative with every aspect of their inquiry. Chief Capul is a dedicated and hard working police commander. This administrative action sullies his unblemished career record.”
The investigation, which Bratton said last week began internally in 2013, has become a focus of the FBI and the public corruption unit of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office. According to law enforcement sources and news accounts, the probe is focusing on possible gifts given to high-ranking police brass by two Brooklyn businessmen, Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg.
So far, no one has been charged as a result of the investigation, which sources have said is also taking a preliminary look at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign finances. In a statement, Department of Investigation head Peter Marks said that any “allegations of wrongdoing regarding campaign finance postdate” his involvement with the de Blasio campaign and didn’t warrant his recusal from any probe.
Capul is a 31-year veteran of the NYPD and public directories show he lives in Nassau County. He was promoted to deputy chief in June 2015. Public records and news accounts show that Capul had been commander officer of the 34th Precinct in upper Manhattan from at least 2008 through 2012. He was in the news in 2014 when a man sucker punched him in the head during a demonstration over the death of Eric Garner in police custody.