NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A disgraced former commander in the NYPD’s gun-licensing bureau claims certain people got star treatment when it came to applying for gun permits in the city.
The list includes celebrities, politicians and businessmen, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Thursday.
Big name, big money — that’s all it took to get a full-carry gun license from the Police Department, even if the applicant didn’t qualify, according to disgraced former NYPD Lt. Paul Dean.
Dean said high-profile politicians, entrepreneurs and an even an actor with a prior felony conviction skated past requirements because of their generous donations to the Police Athletic League or New York City Police Foundation.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill quashed the allegations.
“These claims are being made by an ex-cop after his arrest on corruption charges. His credibility is highly suspect,” O’Neill said.
Dean, who worked for the NYPD License Division, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for gun licenses. Seeking leniency in his sentencing, Dean filed papers in federal court Wednesday that allege that some of the Department’s top brass, including former commissioners Ray Kelly and Bill Bratton, were aware of the shady dealings and “…seemed to tacitly approve this system.”
Dean accused NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller of instructing his supervisor to continue the “favor system” for retirees and donors.
“He refers to a meeting which never occurred, which I didn’t attend because it never happened,” Miller said.
Dean alleges the License Division approved gun permits for that long list of unqualified VIPs.
“Everyone he refers to there has had their pistol licenses for between 10, 25 and 40 years. So I think there’s a lot more fluff in that document than there is fact,” Miller said.
Dean also claimed he was instructed to grant licenses to people brought in by one of of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s longtime donors.
“I never heard about this allegation before or had any knowledge of anything like this,” de Blasio said.
Dean is scheduled to be sentenced at the end of January. He faces up to five years in prison for his role in the bribes-for-gun-licenses case.
The NYPD says it has implemented a number of reforms in the License Division, including new management, more comprehensive background checks and increased supervision and accountability.