Brooklyn, NY – Four months after he was first found guilty on multiple counts of bribery and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud involving police officials, Jeremy Reichberg has been sentenced to four years in prison plus two year of supervised release. Reichberg had been facing a maximum sentence of 65 years.
Word of Reichberg’s sentence, initially scheduled to be handed down last month, was first announced on Twitter by Daily News reporter Steven Brown. He is expected to begin serving his prison term in Otisville on August 12th according to a tweet by Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press.
Just moments before his sentencing, an emotional Reichberg asked District Judge Gregory Woods for leniency, reported the New York Post (https://nyp.st/30g9njv). Reichberg had difficulty reading his prepared statement, stopping often to wipe away tears.
“I acted as an adolescent, wanting special attention, feeling that I was entitled to get special attention for my friends who were police officers,” said the 44 year old Reichberg.
Reichberg’s lawyer had argued that her client had been acting solely to bolster his public image and that his actions created no public danger. That notion was disputed by Assistant District Attorney Martin Bell, who said that Reichberg and former friend Jona Rechnitz had curried favors regarding arrests and gun licenses. Rechnitz took a plea bargain deal with authorities that had him testifying for nine days against Reichberg.
“This was not a crime that created an appearance of favoritism,” said Bell. “This was impropriety of the most basic sort. This was favoritism, bought and paid for.”
Reichberg’s sentencing comes on the same day that four high ranking NYPD officers sued the City of New York, saying that they were forced to retire in order to protect both Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton from the bribery investigation that rattled The Big Apple.
The Daily News (http://bit.ly/30ggDf4) reported that former Inspector Peter DeBlasio and former Deputy Chief Andrew Capul, David Colon and Eric Rodriguez were forced out in 2016. All four had been mentioned in court documents related to the bribery investigation but none faced any charges.
“At the end of the day you always need sacrificial lambs,” said Capul. “But we don’t know why. Why us?”
The four officers had a combined 120 years of NYPD experience between them. Capul said that they were never told what they had done wrong.