Reports the New York Times:
Three New York Police Department commanders, including a deputy chief, were arrested early Monday, along with a Brooklyn businessman, on federal corruption charges stemming from one of several continuing investigations into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign fund-raising, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The arrests, of a deputy chief, a deputy inspector and a sergeant, were one of the most significant roundups of police supervisors in the recent history of the department. In striking the top ranks, the case is a particular blow to the storied — and sometimes sullied — reputation of the nation’s largest municipal police force.
The charges detail lavish gifts the two senior police officials are accused of receiving: complimentary Super Bowl tickets, expensive meals and free overseas trips, including at least one taken in the company of a prostitute, the people said. The sergeant was charged in a scheme that involved aiding applicants for firearms licenses.
The charges being levied against those arrested—Deputy Chief Michael J. Harrington, Deputy Inspector James M. Grant and Sgt. David Villanueva—include bribery, honest services wire fraud and conspiracy. The arrested were made possible thanks to someone dropping dime, under pressure.
The gifts were largely paid for by two businessmen, both of whom have been generous supporters of the mayor. Jeremiah Reichberg, 42, of Borough Park, Brooklyn, was charged along with the officers, the people said. Jona S. Rechnitz, 33, of the Upper West Side, had been a target of the fund-raising investigation until recent weeks, when he pleaded guilty to corruption charges and began cooperating with the federal authorities, the people said.
The arrests in the early morning hours by agents with the F.B.I. and investigators from the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau were followed by the execution of search warrants, the people said.
Crooked cops in the NYPD? Who’s surprised?