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Third High-Ranking NYPD Official Files for Retirement Amid Corruption Probe

By Murray Weiss | May 27, 2016 11:43am
 A third high-ranking NYPD official has filed for retirement in the span of a week.
A third high-ranking NYPD official has filed for retirement in the span of a week.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

NEW YORK CITY — A third high-ranking NYPD official has filed for retirement in the span of a week amid the growing federal corruption investigation into a pay-for-favors scandal in the nation's largest police force, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, who was stripped of his badge and gun nearly two months ago, handed in his papers at Police Headquarters on Thursday, sources said.

The three-decade veteran, who was second in command in the NYPD’s citywide housing bureau, is the third top commander this week to leave the NYPD since Commissioner Bill Bratton said he expected arrests in the probe.

Harrington, who comes from a long line of respected officers, served previously as the right-hand man for then-Chief of Department Philip Banks, who was the initial target of the now 2 1/2-year federal investigation.

Under city regulations, officers who retired are guaranteed their respective pensions even if they are later arrested and convicted of a felony. Bratton has 30 days to file charges against an officer, if warranted, that would halt their departure until the charges are resolved.

Banks, who has not been charged with any crime, took trips and junkets with two wealthy businessmen, Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, who served on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Inauguration Committee. 

The federal investigation of the NYPD centers on allegations that police officials took gifts in exchange for favors. The probe has also expanded to City Hall, where top mayoral advisers are being eyed over how they raised funds for various de Blasio political agendas.

Roy Richter, president of the Captain’s Endowment Association, declined to comment.

Deputy Chief David Colon, a 30-year veteran, filed for retirement on Wednesday, a day after Deputy Inspector James Grant pulled the plug on his career just shy of his 20th anniversary in the department.

Colon was known to hang out 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.

READ MORE: How Everyone is Connected in the City Hall/NYPD Corruption Probe

Deputy Inspector James Grant, who had served as the commander of the Upper East Side's 19th Precinct before his name surfaced in the scandal, stepped down Tuesday. He's suspected of taking discounted jewelry and a trip to Las Vegas on a private jet from the two businessmen in exchange for police escorts.

Police officials said this week that they can't prevent individuals from retiring.

However, they were able to reject a retirement application from Detective Michael Milici, who served as the Community Affairs officer at the 66th Precinct in Borough, because he took the Fifth when approached by the FBI — a violation of departmental policy.

Milici, who had more than 20 years on the force, was instead fired by Bratton. But because of his tenure he is allowed to collect his full pension.

As many as 10 other officers — mostly high-level officials — have been caught up in the federal probe, including two in the License Division who are suspected of taking money in exchange for gun permits without proper background checks.