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NYPD detective fired as police corruption probe widens

A probe into corruption within the New York

A probe into corruption within the New York City Police Department has resulted in the disciplining of another high-ranking officer, officials say. Credit: Diana Colapietro

Another high-ranking officer was disciplined and a detective fired Wednesday as a result of the widening FBI-NYPD corruption probe, officials said.

Insp. Peter DeBlasio, 55, who had been assigned to Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, has been placed on modified assignment and transferred to an administrative post, the department said.

DeBlasio represents the 10th officer, mostly of high rank, who have either been modified, transferred or suspended as a result of the investigation. The focus of the probe includes possible bribes and illegal gifts from two politically connected businessmen.

Det. Michael Milici, who was suspended after he tried to retire last month amid the investigation, was fired late Wednesday by Police Commissioner William Bratton.

Milici had been tried in absentia by the NYPD after he allegedly refused a direct order and wouldn’t cooperate in the investigation, officials said.

Milici’s attorney, Patrick Parrotta, could not be reached for comment.

Bratton signed the order firing Milici after returning Wednesday from the wake of Insp. Michael Ameri.

Ameri took his own life last week while sitting in a car near his West Babylon home. He had cooperated in the investigation, and Bratton has said repeatedly that Ameri was not a target of the investigation at the time of his death.

The disciplining of DeBlasio, who apparently is not related to Mayor Bill de Blasio, came as a surprise to some colleagues.

“The inspector has cooperated fully and answered questions presented to him by federal investigators at his home, in an early morning unscheduled interview, weeks ago,” said Roy T. Richter, president of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association. “Today’s action by the NYPD is unexpected.”

DeBlasio had previously served as a commanding officer in the 60th and 66th precincts. The latter precinct covers the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, an area with a large Hasidic population.

Law enforcement officials have said that part of the probe is looking at possible illegal payments by businessmen Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg in return for police favors given to the local Borough Park community.

Neither Rechnitz and Reichberg, nor any of the cops named so far, have been charged with any crimes.

Two civilians have been charged in the scandal. Alex Lichtenstein, a member of what was identified by prosecutors as an Orthodox safety patrol, was accused last month of offering bribes to help people get pistol permits. He has denied the allegations. Restaurateur Hamlet Peralta was charged earlier this year with running a Ponzi scheme.

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