One of the former New York Police Department leaders mentioned Friday during testimony in a federal corruption case is the current Floral Park police commissioner.
Stephen McAllister was on an airplane with prostitutes that took former NYPD chiefs to a college-football game in Miami in 2013, according to Jona Rechnitz, a donor to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign in 2013. Rechnitz, 34, is the son of a wealthy Los Angeles real estate investor who spoke Friday during the ongoing trial for Norman Seabrook, the former head of New York City’s corrections officers’ union.
Rechnitz’ testimony tied McAllister to a concentrated effort to influence City Hall and the NYPD. Rechnitz said he donated thousands to de Blasio’s campaign in order to get direct contact to the mayor and ask for favors. Rechnitz said he spent money on NYPD officers in hopes of getting favors as well.
McAllister has denied being on the plane and said he paid for his own travel to the college football game.
McAllister also denies the insinuations Rechnitz made, Floral Park Village Administrator Gerry Bambrick said in an email on Friday.
McAllister, who retired from the NYPD in 2009 and joined the Floral Park police department in 2010, made headlines on Long Island in April after Floral Park residents spoke out against his $55,000 raise. Floral Park gave McAllister the raise to compensate for the fact that he no longer receives his pension benefits as an NYPD retiree.
Residents said at the time that McAllister, 55, who now makes $245,000 a year and oversees a 35-officer department, shouldn’t be paid more than NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, whose salary is $219,773 and who oversees more than 36,000 officers, or then acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter, who was paid $237,265 and led a force of 2,380 officers.
Robert Pedley, president of the Floral Park Police Benevolent Association, said Friday that he doesn’t want to comment on McAllister’s alleged involvement without knowing if Rechnitz’ claims are true.
“It’s kind of hard to speak on it right now,” Pedley said. “I don’t really know the merit of this case, but I’m sure at some point it’ll all come out.”