Four former high-ranking NYPD cops who were forced to retire amid a bribery scandal filed a federal lawsuit Monday alleging they were denied due process to protect Mayor de Blasio and former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
The plaintiffs — ex-Inspector Peter DeBlasio, who is no relation to the mayor, and former Deputy Chiefs Andrew Capul, David Colon and Eric Rodriguez — have already been collectively awarded more than $1 million for vacation and overtime days they were owed before being forced to resign.
They had been linked to the bribery scandal involving two top donors to the mayor, Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, but none of the cops were ever criminally charged.
DeBlasio, Capul, Colon and Rodriguez filed their lawsuit in Manhattan federal court on the same day Reichberg was sentenced to 48 months behind bars for his part in the massive bribery scheme in which NYPD officers were showered with lavish gifts that included a private junket to Las Vegas.
“The NYPD believes these retirements were handled properly,” Detective Denise Moroney, a police spokeswoman, told The Post in an email.
Freddi Goldstein, a City Hall rep, said in a statement: “The mayor is not involved with NYPD personnel decisions at this level. Any belief to the contrary is wrong.”
Reichberg was convicted in January of four counts, including conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and bribery.
His prosecution was secured in part by the nine-day testimony of former pal Reichnitz, who cut a deal with the feds and pleaded guilty to wire-fraud conspiracy in 2016.
“Because the allegations led to the highest-ranking NYPD officials, and perhaps directly to the Mayor, who the NYPD was trying to protect, the NYPD believed it needed to take immediate action, at least for public relations purposes,” the plaintiff former cops say in their suit, which was filed in Manhattan Federal Court.
“Because the corruption allegations reached the Mayor’s office, the Mayor, the City, and NYPD top leaders, such as the Commissioner and [NYPD] Chief (Philip) Banks, they had an interest in insulating themselves from the allegations,” according to the lawsuit.
“Accordingly, the NYPD implicated ‘expendable’ deputy chiefs and inspectors – career police officials with impeccable records – while protecting politically tied officers from implication in the Corruption.”
Banks, the former NYPD chief of department who was named by the feds as an unindicted co-conspirator in the scandal, has denied that he took payoffs from the mayor’s two ex-fundraisers in return for special treatment.
Additional reporting by Andrew Denney, Stephanie Pagones and Julia Marsh
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