NYPD members arrested in corruption probe
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York says several NYPD members and a Brooklyn businessman were arrested Monday in connection with a public corruption probe.
The NYPD members include Deputy Inspector James Grant, Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and Sgt. David Villanueva.
Businessman Jeremy Reichberg was also arrested.
Reichberg, a former fundraiser for Mayor Bill de Blasio, is accused of bribing NYPD officials with actions like paying for uniforms, jewelry, business cards, expensive meals and other luxury items, according to a court document released by prosecutors. Prosecutors say the cash and favors were made in exchange for police escorts, VIP access to city events and ticket fixing.
Officials say Villanueva worked in the NYPD's firearms licensing division. Some of the alleged bribes were linked to approvals for gun licenses for more than 100 people, including some with arrest records.
The document outlines the exchange of services between Reichberg and the NYPD, who he allegedly bribed in exchange for official action both for himself and for members of his Borough Park community.
In all, prosecutors accuse the businessman of spending more than $100,000 in bribe money.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, along with federal agents, detailed the charges during a news conference Monday afternoon. Bharara also praised Bratton's cooperation with the federal investigation, which is still ongoing.
In a statement, Mayor de Blasio endorsed the investigation and said he and Bratton are committed to ensuring the NYPD's integrity.