A “longtime” community affairs detective at the 66th Precinct has been named in a federal corruption investigation, the New York Daily News reports today.
Detective Michael Milici of the 66th Precinct invoked the Fifth Amendment and would not answer questions at a federal grand jury hearing yesterday regarding “gifts” made by two businessmen to several NYPD officers, the News reports.
Both the News and the New York Post have reported that the officers are being investigated for possible favors made to the businessmen — “including providing police escorts for Jewish funerals” — in exchange for paid overseas vacations and other gifts.
The Post names the businessmen as Jona Rechnitz of Manhattan and Jeremy Reichberg of Borough Park.
A former commanding officer of the 70th Precinct is also being questioned as part of the investigation, says the Post.
Milici has been placed on “restricted detail,” the News says, meaning he has been stripped of his badge and gun.
The community affairs office at the 66th Precinct declined to comment to Ditmas Park Corner today.
The current federal investigation builds on an earlier one that was examining fraud and possible money laundering within the NYPD, the News reports.
In this second investigation, “investigators are also trying to determine if some NYPD officers accepted gifts from Jewish community leaders — including a Borough Park activist with close ties to city officials,” the News states it was told by sources.
The FBI investigation started with a look at the relationship between the two businessmen and now-retired NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks and corrections union president Norman Seabrook, the Post said.
The feds are now questioning around 20 officers, including Milici, and Brooklyn South Deputy Chief Eric Rodriguez (former commanding officer of the 70th Precinct), the Post says.
Milici’s attorney, Patrick Parrotta, told the News that Milici had never taken any gifts, and had no knowledge of why he was being questioned by federal investigators.
“A number of my members have been interviewed by federal investigators,” Roy Richter, head of the Captains Endowment Association, is also quoted as saying. “All of them fully cooperated and were told they were not the targets or subjects of the investigation.”