A second high-ranking NYPD officer ensnared in an ongoing corruption probe has put in for retirement, department officials said Wednesday.
Deputy Chief David Colon gave notice Tuesday that he plans to retire in 30 days, or June 23. Under civil service and department rules, Colon can retire with his full pension unless he is brought up on administrative or criminal charges before the monthlong waiting period expires, officials said.
Police Commissioner William Bratton disciplined Colon and three other ranking officers in April as news of the investigation broke. Colon was transferred from a housing police command in Brooklyn to an administrative job.
FBI and NYPD internal affairs investigators have teamed up with federal prosecutors in Manhattan to probe possible bribes and illegal gratuities to cops from politically connected businessmen in Brooklyn in return for favors.
The probe has focused on allegations that assistant chiefs and inspectors received Super Bowl tickets, vacations and even the service of a prostitute, according to officials and news accounts.
Deputy Inspector James Grant, who was placed on modified duty and transferred in April, filed for retirement Monday. Other retirement filings are expected.
During an unrelated news conference Wednesday, Bratton declined to comment on Grant’s retirement or any other individual case, citing the continuing investigation and grand jury secrecy. Lawrence Byrne, NYPD deputy commissioner for legal affairs, said Bratton has no power to prevent any officer from filing for retirement.
“We are going to continue the investigation not withstanding that Insp. Grant has put his papers in for retirement,” said Byrne. “We are going where the evidence takes us.”
Last week during a radio interview, Bratton said he expected there might be criminal charges stemming from the investigation in which at least 10 cops have been either stripped of their guns and shields or transferred. So far none of the officers disciplined have been charged with any wrongdoing. Also not facing charges for now are businessmen Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, who are at the center of the investigation.
Det. Michael Milici was fired earlier this month after he refused to be questioned in the investigation and during a departmental trial.
As the investigation has spread, two civilians were charged in federal court. Alex Lichtenstein, described as a paperwork facilitator for Borough Park residents seeking pistol permits, was accused of trying to bribe cops who work in the NYPD gun licensing division. Hamlet Peralta, a financially troubled restaurateur, was charged with running a $12 million Ponzi scheme. Both cases are pending.
Roy Richter, head of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association, said Wednesday that Colon filed for retirement for “personal reasons.”
“He has a newborn child he would like to devote all of his attention to,” noted Richter.