New York City police officers disciplined in ongoing corruption probe

Reuters News
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Posted: May 18, 2016 8:23 PM

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A high-ranking New York City police commander became the latest officer to face discipline as a result of a wide-ranging federal corruption probe that stretches from the police department to City Hall, officials said on Wednesday.

Inspector Peter DeBlasio was transferred from his post in Brooklyn to desk duty "in connection with the ongoing joint investigation by the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office," the department said in a statement.

In addition, Michael Milici, a detective who was previously reassigned, has been fired, the department said.

Nearly a dozen officers, many of them senior commanders, have been disciplined in connection with the probe, which is examining whether police officers accepted gifts and trips from businessmen in exchange for official actions.

Several federal and state agencies are pursuing overlapping investigations that have extended to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fundraising activities.

Mayor de Blasio, who is no relation to Inspector DeBlasio, has said he and his administration did not commit any wrongdoing and are cooperating with authorities.

Stuart Slotnick, a lawyer for Peter DeBlasio, said the officer had voluntarily answered questions from federal investigators but chose not to testify before a grand jury.

"The NYPD's action in modifying his duty assignment is unfortunate in light of the circumstances," he said.

A lawyer for Milici did not respond to a request for comment late on Wednesday.

The announcements came days after another officer linked to the probe died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Bernard Orr and Paul Tait)