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Former NYPD Chief Pleads Guilty in Mayoral Donor Corruption Scandal

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On Thursday, March 1, a former Staten Island police official pled guilty to a criminal charge related to a federal investigation into corruption.

In Manhattan federal court, former-Deputy Chief Michael Harrington pled guilty to the charge of misapplication of property valued at $5,000 or more. The plea was part of a deal with prosecutors, in which they recommended that Harrington be sentenced to a maximum of six months in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for June 11.

SI Advance reports, “His lawyer, Andrew Weinstein, noted afterward that bribery charges the 52-year-old Westerleigh resident once faced will be dismissed. Harrington admitted arranging services, including a police escort for a funeral and counterterrorism protection at a midtown Manhattan synagogue at Jewish holidays and for disabled children to observe NYPD training.”

In the end, Weinstein said that the outcome on Thursday was “obviously a horse of a different color” compared to the initial charges, all of which he believes will be dismissed at sentencing by the government. Weinstein said, “We look forward to sentencing, where we intend to present the court with a wealth of information regarding Mr. Harrington’s well-known dedication to his career, family and community.”

According to federal court documents, last year Harrington along with Deputy Inspector James Grant were accused of granting special favors to Brooklyn businessman Jeremy Reichberg in exchange for lavish gifts.

Harrington told the Judge and those present in the courtroom, including his wife Tara, “During this time period I understood Mr. Reichberg to be a leader within the Jewish community, and also considered him a friend.”

April 30 is the set date for the trials of Grant and Reichberg to begin.

Grant, who is also a resident of Staten Island, was stripped of his badge and gun along with Harrington last year. Both men were also reassigned.

Prior to their reassignment, Harrington was the deputy chief of the Housing Bureau and Grant headed the 19th Precinct on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Records show that Harrington was also a former deputy chief of Manhattan North.

Harrington’s family has an extensive history of serving the city as police officers. 11 of his family members have served or are still serving in the NYPD all across New York City.

By Charles Bernstein

 

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