Former NYPD Deputy Chief Sentenced For Illegally Diverting Police Resources
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that MICHAEL HARRINGTON was sentenced to two years of probation and 180 hours of community service for misapplying police resources while serving in the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) as, among other things, a Deputy Chief and Executive Officer for the Chief of Department’s Office. He was sentenced by the U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods.
HARRINGTON diverted those police 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, as well as Reichberg’s friends and associates.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “After years of service to the NYPD, Michael Harrington abused the sacred trust placed in him by the NYPD and the people of New York by applying the people’s resources, including its officers, to the interests and whims of a connected few. That Harrington’s behavior has resulted in a felony conviction is a sad but necessary reminder that, along with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to fight this type of corruption.”
In sentencing HARRINGTON, Judge Woods said: “This is a very serious offense. [T]his does matter. As a senior official of the NYPD, Mr. Harrington was entrusted to protect the public without fear or favor. He misused that trust. . . . .[H]e applied the public’s resources to provide special favors to a select few. And Mr. Harrington misdirected NYPD resources at the request of [Jeremy] Reichberg while receiving personal benefits from him.”
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 and HARRINGTON, 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 to face trial before Judge Woods on October 4, 2018.
According to the Superseding Information, Indictment, and Complaint filed in this case, other court filings, and statements made during court proceedings:
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.
During the relevant period, Reichberg and Rechnitz provided HARRINGTON with personal benefits and gifts, including tens of thousands of dollars in business to a security company run by HARRINGTON’s family members and friends, thousands of dollars’ worth of meals in high-end restaurants, hundreds of dollars’ worth of premium tickets to sporting events, and a video game system and other gifts for his children. During the same period, HARRINGTON helped Reichberg and his associates get rides in police cars for non-police purposes, used a helicopter for a flyover at a private event, and secured the use of a police boat for private boat rides at another private event. He further sent officers to resolve private, civil disputes, pressured other NYPD personnel to respond to requests from Reichberg and Rechnitz, and took steps to assist in the promotion and transfer of NYPD officers handpicked by Reichberg and Rechnitz at their request.
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In addition to the probation term, HARRINGTON, 52, of Staten Island, New York, was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution to the NYPD.
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department, Internal Affairs Bureau.
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.