The four NYPD chiefs and an inspector who retired under pressure from then-Commissioner Bill Bratton during a federal corruption probe into the department want back pay. They also want their jobs back.
They’ve hired a labor lawyer, ex-Det. Harry Greenberg, to claw back 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. Greenberg did not return phone calls.
The cops’ chances of getting money are greater than their returning to the NYPD, where odds are slim to none. The decision rests with Commissioner James O’Neill, who isn’t about to approve their return, according to sources who didn’t want their names used because they weren’t authorized to speak about the matter.
The cops — Deputy Chiefs Andrew Capul, Eric Rodriquez, John Sprague and David Colon, and Insp. Pete de Blasio — were never charged. They allegedly accepted free dinners, trips and tickets to sporting events, which violate department guidelines.
They retired under a deal worked out by Richter and the NYPD that included no disciplinary charges, which allowed the officers to receive their “good guy” letters. The letters allow them to obtain pistol permits for future private sector work.
Ironically, past commissioners — including Bratton, Ray Kelly and Howard Safir — accepted freebies. In Bratton’s case, it cost him his job as commissioner under then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
The federal probe into the NYPD began with an investigation into Norman Seabrook, who then headed the correction officers union. The feds allege that he 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.
While current allegations against the NYPD top brass have been an embarrassment not seen since the Knapp Commission corruption days of the 1970s, only two have been charged.
Deputy Insp. James Grant and Deputy Chief Michael Harrington face charges of accepting bribes to act like “cops on call” for a wealthy businessman.