Three NYPD commanders were arrested Monday morning in connection with an anti-corruption investigation implicating New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, The New York Times reported Monday.
The Times report says that Deputy Chief Michael J. Harrington, Deputy Inspector James M. Grant, and Sgt. David Villanueva were taken into custody early Monday morning by federal investigators.
Court documents reveal that two New York businessmen with close ties to de Blasio’s inner circle, Jeremiah Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz, allegedly lavished gifts on the three police officials in exchange for special services and privileges. The officers allegedly received free flights to Las Vegas in the company of prostitutes for the Super Bowl in 2013, referrals of business to a security company associated with one of the officers, jewelry, expensive meals, and trips to exotic locales. (RELATED: Chick-fil-A Succeeds In New York City Despite De Blasio Boycott)
Reichberg alone provided the officers with over $100,000 in gifts, and was also arrested early Monday. Rechnitz has been cooperating with authorities and pled guilty to honest services wire fraud.
In exchange, the officers acted in an official capacity to provide police escorts to the businessmen and their associates, harass rival businessmen and inhibit their activities, and fixed traffic citations.
“They got, in effect, a private police force for themselves and their friends — effectively they got cops on call,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
The officers were charged with bribery, conspiracy, and honest services wire fraud.
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