It’s a case that goes back to July of 2016 when five high ranking NYPD cops were forced to retire. Now, the New York Daily News is reporting they might be getting a big pay day.

Here’s the back story. Former Inspector Peter DeBlasio and ex-Deputy Chiefs Andrew Capul, David Colon, Eric Rodriguez and John Sprague say they lost out on accrued compensation, including vacation and comp time, when they were forced out.

NYPD Deputy Chief David Colon

NYPD Deputy Chief David Colon, commanding officer of Brooklyn Housing, was transferred out of his position during an FBI corruption investigation in April 2016. (NYPD)

 

In July 2016, former Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters Lawrence Byrne demanded they retire.

Why?  They were allegedly linked to the bribes-for-favors scandal revolving around Mayor de Blasio donors Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg.

But here’s the thing. They never faced any charges.

So they filed a grievance with the city Office of Labor Relations over losing their positions in the department.

In 2017, arbitrator David Stein ruled they’d been “blackmailed” out of their jobs.

“They were never informed of the basis for any suspicions the department may have about them, nor were they able to assuage the department of any concerns it may have had with respect to any of them,” Stein wrote. “The department’s motive was depicted as a concern about negative publicity, although neither man was ever charged with misconduct.”

 

Stein said that Byrne’s behavior became blackmail when he backed out on a deal that would let them use thousands of hours of unused leave.  Instead, he turned around and told union leader Roy Richter that the cops had run up too much time and would be demoted, lose the accrued time and face disciplinary charges unless they retired immediately.

Stein said then-Commissioner Bill Bratton wanted them out for making them look bad.  He said they were named in newspaper articles linking them to the scandal, yet none of the officers was ever even informed they were the subject or target of an investigation.  None were charged with a crime.  None were subjected to discipline.

“They were never informed of the basis for any suspicions the department may have about them, nor were they able to assuage the department of any concerns it may have had with respect to any of them,” Stein wrote. “The department’s motive was depicted as a concern about negative publicity, although neither man was ever charged with misconduct.”

 

The union said the department broke laws against blackmail.

“This curtain of silence made Byrne’s threats even more coercive,” Stein wrote.

 

The New York Daily News found that the settlement was more than $1 million, but couldn’t determine it’s exact amount.

The Captains Endowment Association and the officers’ lawyer didn’t comment… but sources did tell the paper that the officers may still file a lawsuit.

“The NYPD believes these retirements were handled properly; an arbiter rendered a decision binding on all parties,” an NYPD spokeswoman said.

 

Here’s what DID come of the federal investigation.

Former Deputy Chief Michael Harrington admitted to misusing police resources as favors for Reichberg and Rechnitz.

He got a sentence of two years’ probation.

Jimmy Grant was acquitted at trial of taking bribes.  Reichberg is still awaiting sentencing for bribery and other offenses.  And Rechnitz testified for the government and is also awaiting sentencing.

Evidence shows that the businessmen tried to monetize their access to 1 Police Plaza by making themselves look like bigshots, even handing out trophies to favored cops in a private suite at MetLife Stadium during a 2013 Jets game.