BROOKLYN — Another high-ranking NYPD official was stripped of his gun and badge, while a Brooklyn officer was fired, as an ongoing federal investigation into police accepting gifts for favors continued to rock the department, police said.
Inspector Peter DeBlasio, no relation to the mayor, was the operations coordinator for the Brooklyn South patrol borough until he was placed on modified duty, as DNAinfo New York first reported Wednesday afternoon.
Another officer, Michael Milici, was fired, said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Stephen Davis.
Milici, who worked as a community affairs liaison for the 66th Precinct, had been suspended in April after he tried to retire from the force after being questioned by the FBI.
DeBlasio was also questioned by the FBI weeks ago, but it was not immediately clear why he was interviewed or why he was disciplined.
"The inspector has cooperated fully and answered questions presented to him by federal investigators at his home in an early morning unscheduled interview — weeks ago," said Roy Richter, president of the Captains Endowment Association. "Today's action by the NYPD is unexpected."
His attorney, Barry Slotnick, said Inspector DeBlasio has "served the NYPD for more than 30 years with distinction."
"The news of his modification is unfortunate and will be rectified," Slotnick predicted.
Ten other officers — most of them high ranking supervisors — have been placed on modified assignment or transferred from the positions amid the probe.
The probe centers on two Brooklyn businessman with ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio and to former Chief of Department Philip Banks, and whether they gave gifts or campaign contributions in exchange for favors from the police or City Hall officials.
Peter DeBlasio was once the commanding officer of the 66th Precinct, where the two businessmen lived and where several of the officers who have been disciplined have worked.
DNAinfo reported Tuesday that the top-ranking NYPD official handpicked by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to clean up the scandal-scarred License Division abruptly quit the force.
Last Friday, Inspector Michael Ameri, the head of the NYPD’s highway division, committed suicide. He was a friend of one of the businessmen and had been spoken to by the FBI in late March about possible police escorts for them and others, but he was not a target of the investigation, officials have said.
The probe of the NYPD began two years ago with a corruption tip involving Banks and has mushroomed into a federal probe that has also led to the subpoenaing of several of the mayor's closest aides and advisors.