MANHATTAN — NYPD brass continue to jump ship amid a federal corruption investigation.
Deputy Chief David Colon on Wednesday became the highest ranking officer to file for retirement amid the ongoing scandal rocking Police Headquarters and City Hall. His last assignment was in the NYPD's Brooklyn housing bureau.
Authorities say Colon, a 30-year veteran, was suspected of taking gifts-for-favors from two businessman, Jona Rechnitz, and Jeremy Reichberg, who were close to then-NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Colon was also known to hangout in the now-shuttered Harlem restaurant, Hudson River Café, which was owned by Hamlet Peralta, a suspected con man recently arrested by the feds for operating a $12 million Ponzi scheme linked to the corruption scandal.
Colon was once considered a rising star and helped supervise the NYPD’s Community Affairs Bureau.
“Deputy Chief Colon filed for service retirement for personal reasons,” said Roy Richter, president of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association. “He has a newborn child he would like to devote all of his attention to.”
A day earlier, Deputy Inspector James Grant, who served as the commander of the Upper East Side's 19th Precinct before his name surfaced in the scandal, filed for retirement after serving for 19 years and 11 months.
He decided he wanted to protect his pension rather than risk losing all of it if he were arrested and convicted of a felony. Had he reached his 20th anniversary, his pension would be considerably larger, officials say.
Grant, who previously commanded the 66th Precinct in Borough Park, was suspected of taking free private jet rides to Vegas as well as lodging and discounted jewelry in exchange for providing personal escorts Rechnitz and Reichberg, who served on de Blasio’s Inauguration Committee.
As many as another 10 officers — mostly high level officials — have been caught up in the federal probe, which began two years ago with a corruption tip involving then Chief Banks, and spread to include de Blasio’s various fundraising activities.
Lawrence Byrne, the NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters, said the police commissioner does not have the authority to prevent any officer from filing for retirement.
But the commissioner has 30-days to file charges against an officer, if warranted, that would halt their departure until the charges are resolved.