NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant, most recently the commanding officer of the Upper East Side’s 19th Precinct and former commanding officer of the 72nd Precinct, is one of as many as 20 high-ranking officers under investigation in an FBI probe involving officers receiving gifts in exchange for preferential treatment, according to published reports.
Grant was stripped of his badge and gun and placed on modified duty on Thursday, April 7. According to published reports, he allegedly accepted diamonds and money from Jeremy Reichberg, a Borough Park businessman, in exchange for favors when he was the C.O. of the 66th Precinct.
“Based on information we know today, we have modified and transferred Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and Deputy Inspector James Grant,” said NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton in a statement. “We have also transferred Deputy Chief David Colon and Deputy Chief Eric Rodriguez.”
Grant was named CO of the 72nd Precinct in 2011, and served there till being replaced by then-Captain Tommy Ng in July, 2014. According to a report in the New York Post, this past Christmas season, Reichberg allegedly gave Grant hundreds of dollars at his Staten Island home.
Grant’s attorney, John Meringolo, told this paper that his client denies the allegations. “He is an exemplary police officer, and has been over the last 20 years,” Meringolo said.
Rodriguez has been on the force for 24 years, serving as the CO of the 68th and 70th Precincts, and was most recently assigned to Patrol Borough Brooklyn South. Although he has been transferred, his badge and gun have not been stripped.
“The nature of the business that always results unfortunately in investigations, we just have to see where the investigation goes and it’s something as you expect that we will participate in and cooperate fully with the FBI,” said Bratton during an April 7 press conference.
The investigation has been ongoing for a while. “The NYPD initiated an investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau at the end of 2013,” Bratton said. “That NYPD investigation was joined with an ongoing FBI and Department of Justice investigation in early 2014. That ongoing joint investigation has been underway for more than two years now.”
The commissioner also discussed implementing programs to prevent further corruption. “As part of our regular executive leadership development program, I had the legal bureau conduct additional training for the senior executives on the conflict of interest rules,” Bratton said, stressing that, going forward, the NYPD would be providing “expanded training” in the area to members of the NYPD who are captains or higher.
“This is not a particularly good day for the department,” the commissioner said.