NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Thursday urged senior commanders caught up in the NYPD corruption probe to “retire now.”
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, it is apparently all about dollars and cents.
The message from Bratton to nearly a dozen high-ranking cops under investigation by federal prosecutors amounts to – “take your pension, pack up your guns and get out of Dodge,” Kramer reported.
“Retire now,” Bratton said, “rather than keeping them on the payroll where I can only use them on modified assignments.”
Bratton was responding to CBS2’s Kramer’s request for an explanation as to why he decided to reinstate Deputy Chief John Sprague and Inspector Peter DeBlasio so they could retire quickly, keep their pensions, and – with a so-called “good-guy letter – keep their guns.
Officials said the offer was good for any of the top cops caught up in the probe, which, Bratton said, could take years and result in more arrests.
“We can’t have them in an operational position,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs Lawrence Byrne. “Why should be pay them a full chief’s salary to sit in an office and do nothing?”
Three other high-ranking police officials linked to the scandal – deputy chiefs David Colon and Eric Rodriguez and Chief Andrew Capul – have already said they want to put in their papers.
They, like the others, will get their benefits, but will pay a price – loss of accrued vacations and overtime.
“They are not being allowed to retire with that accrued time, so at their salary levels, those that are retiring that I’m basically encouraging to go – right off the bat – they’re paying anywhere from a $200,000 to $300,000 penalty,” Bratton said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio was critical of two chiefs who will not get any good-guy letters. Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and Deputy Inspector James Grant were arrested this week on charges of taking gifts and trips – including a Las Vegas jaunt that included a prostitute – in exchange for doing favors.
“I don’t know how someone gets to the kind of ranks we’re talking about and does something so stupid and so venal – it’s just not even close,” de Blasio said. “Anyone who says, ‘Oh, I didn’t know I couldn’t take a trip to Las Vegas,’ is lying.
And while some police officials may get good-guy letters and their guns right now, that privilege goes out the window if they are convicted of a crime.