New York City police officers disciplined in ongoing corruption probe

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A high-ranking New York City police commander became the latest officer to face discipline as a result of a wide-ranging federal corruption probe that stretches from the police department to City Hall, officials said on Wednesday.

Inspector Peter DeBlasio was transferred from his post in Brooklyn to desk duty "in connection with the ongoing joint investigation by the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office," the department said in a statement.

In addition, Michael Milici, a detective who was previously reassigned has been fired, the department said.

Nearly a dozen officers, many of them senior commanders, have been disciplined in connection with the probe, which is examining whether police officers accepted gifts and trips from businessmen in exchange for official actions.

Several federal and state agencies are pursuing overlapping investigations that have extended to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fundraising activities.

De Blasio, who is no relation to Inspector DeBlasio, has said he and his administration did not commit any wrongdoing and are cooperating with authorities.

Lawyers for Milici and DeBlasio did not immediately respond to requests for comment late on Wednesday.

In a statement, Roy Richter, the president of the union that represents high-ranking officers like DeBlasio, said, "The inspector has cooperated fully and answered questions presented to him by federal investigators in an early morning unscheduled interview – weeks ago. Today's action by the NYPD is unexpected."

The announcements came days after another officer linked to the probe died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Bernard Orr)