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Port Authority Police Inspector Suspended After Fight With GOP Fundraiser

By Murray Weiss | February 22, 2017 8:38am

MANHATTAN — A Port Authority police inspector has been suspended from the force after getting into a street fight with a top Republican fundraiser with close ties to former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former President George W. Bush and President Donald Trump, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Inspector John Fitzpatrick was suspended from his $167,000-a-year job as head of PATH train security in the wake of the late-night off-duty clash at the corner of Park Avenue and East 37th Street on Jan. 9 with Arcadio Casillas, sources say.

Casillas recently served as state GOP finance chairman and a top fundraiser for the presidential campaigns of Trump, both Presidents Bush, Sen. John McCain and Gov. Mitt Romney, according to the state GOP's website.

“Maybe this is all due to the fact that Casillas during the incident was allegedly bragging of his friendship with Donald Trump,” Fitzpatrick’s lawyer Marvyn Kornberg said, declining to provide additional details of what led to the clash that day.

According to sources, the incident occurred after both men were separately dining at an exclusive private club in the area.

It is unclear what precipitated the fight, but sources say Fitzpatrick was in his unmarked police vehicle when the two men somehow got into an argument on the street that escalated into a pushing and shoving match, with Casillas alleging Fitzpatrick punched and kicked him.

Fitzpatrick was later suspended, and evidence collected by Port Authority internal investigators, including numerous video recordings of the encounter, have been turned over to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for review.

Kornberg said Fitzpatrick is innocent, and that the inspector is scheduled to appear on Thursday at the DA’s office for “an unnecessary” lineup.

Fitzpatrick joined the Port Authority police after serving as a top police official with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

A second PAPD inspector who was on duty that night may face departmental charges over the incident for not properly reporting it, a source said.

Calls seeking comment from Casillas, who runs a corporate insurance and investment firm, were not returned. A native of Cuba , Casillas has received an Ellis Island Medal of Honor and served on the board of Wagner College, according to the state GOP's website.

A spokesman for the DA declined comment.

"On the Inside" reported earlier this week that several Port Authority officers made more than $300,000 each last year thanks to overtime pay that tripled their salaries, while scores of others doubled their annual pay.