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Nassau police eye hiring top NYPD counterterror boss

The NYPD's top counterterrorism boss, Michael Blake.

The NYPD's top counterterrorism boss, Michael Blake. Credit: NYPD

The NYPD's top counterterrorism boss is being considered for the position of assistant commissioner of Nassau police, authorities said.

Michael Blake, a 26-year NYPD veteran who is out on vacation, was the commanding officer of the counterterrorism division until July. His tenure also included stints in the narcotics and gang units.

Insp. Kenneth Lack, the Nassau police department's chief spokesman, declined to provide a timeline for the hiring, elaborate on when Blake was interviewed, provide the other candidates' names or say how many others were in the running. "He's one of many candidates being considered, and no decision's been made," Lack said.

The confirmation that Blake is a candidate comes a week after he and another NYPD supervisor were cleared by a federal court jury in Brooklyn of sexual harassment allegations in a civil suit filed by a subordinate police officer.

The officer, Veronica Schultz, accused them of making unwanted advances and lurid comments to her while she was at a Queens police precinct between January 2008 and May 2009. At the time, Blake was a supervisor at the precinct, the 103rd.

Blake told Newsday that he hopes Nassau is still interested and believes they have interviewed more candidates and will make a decision soon. He said he feels vindicated by the favorable verdict in the federal court case.

In her testimony, Schultz of Suffolk County, had likened the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, Queens, to a frat house.

Blake called the allegations lies and testified that he had visited the woman's apartment a "couple of times" after work, at night. He said he was mentoring her and helping her prepare for a promotional exam.

A previous Nassau assistant commissioner, John Quinn, who was a former NYPD lieutenant, left the $150,000-per-year Nassau job in May after less than four months, citing personal reasons. The department did not elaborate on the reasons for his departure.

Quinn's responsibilities included reviewing the department's administrative structure and work rules amid numerous disciplinary scandals.

Thomas Dale, a 41-year veteran of the NYPD, became commissioner earlier this year.

Lack declined to say what responsibilities the new assistant commissioner would have.

James Carver, head of the rank-and-file officers' union, the Nassau Police Benevolent Association, said Blake's background should be carefully scrutinized, given the suit's allegations and Blake's admissions on the witness stand.

"I think it's inappropriate to go over to a female subordinate's house to do mentoring," he said. "I don't think that's an acceptable, proper management style within the police department."

In an interview in July, Nassau First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Krumpter declined to say whether the department was considering Blake. He said at the time that the vetting process for anyone who might be offered the position had not begun.

With Anthony M. DeStefano

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