Former NYPD Deputy Chief Pleads Guilty To Illegally Diverting Police Resources
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the guilty plea of MICHAEL HARRINGTON for misapplying police resources while serving in the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) as, among other things, a Deputy Chief and former Executive Officer for the Chief of Department’s Office. Specifically, HARRINGTON diverted those resources – including dispatching police officers and diverting land, sea, and air vehicles intended for the NYPD’s public service usage – for the personal benefit of Jeremy Reichberg, a private citizen, his friends, and their associates. HARRINGTON pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods to misapplication and conversion of property belonging to a program or organization receiving federal funds.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Michael Harrington, a former high-ranking officer in the NYPD, occupied powerful positions within the department, from which he controlled officers and resources meant to keep New York safe. But as he admitted today, Harrington allowed those resources to be used for the benefit of well-connected private citizens. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to fight this type of corruption.”
Reichberg and an additional co-defendant, former NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant, continue to face honest services fraud, bribery, and conspiracy charges related to an alleged scheme in which Reichberg and another individual provided luxurious benefits to high-ranking members of the NYPD, including Grant, so as to be able to call upon those members for police-related assistance for themselves and their associates as opportunities arose. Reichberg and Grant are scheduled to go to trial before Judge Woods on April 30, 2018.
According to the Superseding Information, Indictment, and Complaint filed in this case, and statements made during the plea proceeding:
HARRINGTON was previously an Inspector in Brooklyn North and, beginning around November 2013, the Executive Officer in the NYPD’s Chief of Department’s Office, which is responsible for overseeing all of the Department’s uniformed operations. After November 2014, HARRINGTON was a Deputy Chief assigned to the NYPD’s Housing Bureau. Between 2011 and June 2016, HARRINGTON diverted police resources for the benefit of Reichberg and his associates, including another individual, Jona Rechnitz, who has pled guilty and is now cooperating with the Government. Among other things, HARRINGTON helped Reichberg and his associates get police escorts for non-police purposes, use a helicopter for a flyover at a private event, sent officers to resolve private, civil disputes, and secured the use of a police boat for private boat rides at another private event.
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HARRINGTON, 52, of Staten Island, New York, pled guilty to one count of misapplication concerning a program receiving federal funds. The charge carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison. HARRINGTON is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Woods on June 11, 2018. The maximum potential penalty is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department, Internal Affairs Division.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Martin S. Bell, Jessica Lonergan, and Kimberly J. Ravener are in charge of the prosecution.