NYPD Deputy Chief John Sprague Disciplined For Pleading The Fifth In FBI Probe

An NYPD boss in charge of a unit that probes excessive force by cops was stripped of his gun and badge on Thursday after refusing to answer questions in the wide-ranging federal probe into gifts for favors, a union official said.

Deputy Chief John Sprague was placed on modified duty after he invoked the Fifth Amendment.

“On the advice of counsel, Deputy Chief Sprague has relied upon his constitutional right as a citizen of the United States,” Captain Endowment Association President Roy Richter said.

“The Chief will continue to cooperate with whatever administrative process the Department deems appropriate.”

The probe by the feds and the NYPD includes allegations of taking gifts that included diamonds, trips and prostitutes for favors, police sources have said.

Sprague, who was previously the commanding officer of the 66 Precinct in Brooklyn, was promoted to deputy chief in March and was tapped to lead the Force Investigation Division, which was designated to look into police force.

2 replies
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    A rising-star NYPD commander is the latest high-ranking cop to be stripped of his shield and gun in the ongoing corruption probe rocking the police force.

    Deputy Chief John Sprague was placed on modified duty Thursday after he refused to testify before a federal grand jury convened as part of the ballooning gifts-for-favors scandal, sources said.

    Sprague, of the NYPD’s Force Investigation Division, got a subpoena Friday, sources familiar with the probe said and informed the U.S. Attorney’s office on Thursday that he would take the Fifth if called to testify, according to sources familiar with the probe.

    Even so, Sprague intends to answer questions if he’s grilled by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, his lawyer, Michael Farkas said.

    “Deputy Chief Sprague exercised the right that all of us have as citizens under the U.S. Constitution. However, as a dedicated public servant with decades of service to the people of our city, he intends to answer all questions put to him by the Police Department in its investigation,” Farkas said Thursday.

    The probe has focused on Orthodox Jewish businessmen Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz, crooked gun broker Shaya Lichtenstein and Hamlet Peralta, the one-time owner of the Hudson River Cafe who was charged in April with running a $12 million Ponzi scheme.

    Many of the officers involved are linked to Patrol Borough Brooklyn South and the 66th Precinct, which Sprague once commanded.

    Detective Michael Milici, the longtime community affairs officer at the 66th, was fired last month after he skipped his departmental trail.

    Sprague, 45, of Staten Island, was promoted to deputy chief on March 29, just days before the investigation was made public in early April.

    Last year, he was tapped to lead the department’s new Force Investigation Division, which Police Commissioner Bill Bratton formed to investigate all police-involved shootings. Prior to that, he commanded Detective Borough Staten Island.

    “On the advice of counsel, Deputy Chief Sprague has relied on his constitutional right as a citizen of the United States. The chief will continue to cooperate with whatever administrative process the department deems appropriate,” said Roy Richter, the head of the Captains Endowment Association.

    On Tuesday, Deputy Chief Eric Rodriguez, the former executive officer at Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, and Deputy Chief Andrew Capul, the former second in command at Patrol Borough Manhattan North, filed for retirement. Both had been reassigned to other departments when their names came up in the probe.

    Last week, Deputy Chief David Colon and Deputy Inspector James Grant, also named in the probe, put in their papers.

  2. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    NEW YORK CITY — Another high-ranking NYPD official has been stripped of his gun and badge amid a federal probe, DNAinfo New York learned Thursday.

    Deputy Chief John Sprague, head of the Force Investigation Division that probes incidents where police use force, has been placed on modified duty, a law enforcement source said. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton promoted Sprague to the position in March.

    Sprague formerly headed the 120th Precinct in Staten Island and the 66th Precinct in Brooklyn.

    Late Thursday, the department issued a statement confirming Sprague “was placed on modified assignment and assigned to an administrative position in connection with the on-going joint investigation by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

    The move comes amid investigations into NYPD corruption and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fundraising activities. Numerous NYPD officers have been placed on modified assignment, transferred or fired and two deputy chiefs who were under investigation retired on Wednesday.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply