Bratton resigned in 1996, while under investigation by the Corporation Counsel for the propriety of a book deal that he signed while in office as well as accepting multiple unauthorized trips from corporations and individuals. These offenses were generally considered minor. Front and center were alleged personal conflicts with Giuliani, partly due to Giuliani's opposition to some of Bratton's reforms and partly due to Giuliani's belief that Bratton was getting more credit for the reduction in crime than Giuliani
Returning from a luncheon celebrating his retirement, the division’s then commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Henry Krantz, was hit with administrative charges, accusing him of granting favors to people applying for pistol permits. A favored connection was the Israeli consulate, where 200 to 300 permits were said to be issued to Israelis. “We don’t really know who they are,” a police source said at the time.
Meanwhile, the feds were running a parallel investigation of Krantz’s friend and retired fellow deputy inspector, Charles Luisi, who had allegedly accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of freebies from professional gun dealer Michael Zerin. Zerin had ties to the highest levels of the NYPD: i..e. Bill Bratton.
When Bratton, then in his first tour under Rudy Giuliani, retired in April 1996, he sought a lightweight .38-cal pistol. Zerin provided it, along with a holster and ammo.
That fall, as Bratton considered a mayoral run against Giuliani, someone realized he hadn’t paid Zerin. An aide maintained to this reporter that Bratton had paid for the gun with an American Express card but that Zerin had never processed it. Early in 1997, nearly a year after he received the gun, Bratton sent Zerin a check for $600.
The Hasidic community has also been a trouble spot for the NYPD. Because Hasidics vote as a block, many politicians seek their support and often provide preferential treatment. Invariably, such treatment involves the police.
The most racially poisonous preferential treatment came from former Mayor Edward I. Koch, who provided the Lubavitcher Grand Rabbi Menachem Schneerson of Crown Heights with a police escort for his weekly visit to the grave sites of his wife and father-in-law. When in 1991 a Hasidic driver in the rabbi’s entourage lost control of his car, leading to the death of a seven-year-old black child, three nights of rioting in Crown Heights followed. The rioting included the retaliatory fatal stabbing of a visiting Hasidic scholar.
Twenty-five years later, two Orthodox Jewish wheeler-dealers — Rechnitz and Reichberg [plus characters like Lichtenstein] — are part of a federal investigation into whether NYPD officers accepted gifts from them. Besides allegedly providing freebies to the cops, the two are donors to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who like the NYPD, is now in the feds’ crosshairs.
TERRORIST OR NOT, A VERY SAD STORY. [Con’t]So-called “lone wolf” terrorist Ahmed Ferhani, who tried to hang himself while serving a 10-year prison sentence at Attica Correctional Facility, has come out of a coma. What the future holds for his condition nobody can be sure.
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