The NYPD Tapes Confirmed

The report police hid for nearly two years that corroborates a Voice investigation — and vindicates a whistle-blower the NYPD tried to destroy

"Because of this failure, an atmosphere was created discouraging members of the command to accurately report index crimes," investigators concluded.

In all, five precinct officers, two sergeants, and Mauriello were either disciplined or charged with department infractions. Most of the command structure in the 81st was transferred. Kelly appointed one of the city's few female African American commanders to replace Mauriello.

Deputy Chief Michael Marino, the man who ordered Schoolcraft to be committed, was also transferred.

Photography: Henry Hargreaves, Prop Styling: Sarah Guido

Details

NYPD Tapes: The Series
The NYPD Tapes Part 1
Inside Bed-Stuy's 81st Precinct
The NYPD Tapes, Part 2
Bed-Stuy street cops ordered: Turn this place into a ghost town
The NYPD Tapes, Part 3
A Detective Comes Forward About Downgraded Sexual Assaults

The NYPD Tapes, Part 4
The WhistleBlower, Adrian Schoolcraft

Follow continuing coverage of the NYPD Tapes here at our Runnin' Scared blog.

Probers referred two of Schoolcraft's allegations to Internal Affairs: one involving the arrests of people on minor infractions held unnecessarily in the command and released, and the other, three arrests of people who tried to turn guns in to the station house.

Schoolcraft remains under a kind of indefinite suspension without pay and lives upstate with his father. His federal lawsuit is moving along in a preliminary phase.

His lawyer, Jon Norinsberg, says the secret NYPD investigation totally backs Schoolcraft and proves that "crime reports were deliberately manipulated to create an utterly false portrait of crime levels in the precinct."

"The fact that the NYPD knew about a report that wholly vindicated Adrian's claims but never released it to the public—much less acknowledged its existence—is disgraceful and a complete betrayal of the trust of the people of New York," Norinsberg says. "Rather than attacking Adrian's credibility, the NYPD should have commended this officer's courage in coming forward—at great risk to himself and his own career—to expose the dishonesty and fraud that was taking place at the 81st Precinct."

Norinsberg says Commissioner Kelly's actions "have been nothing more than window dressing." "He has addressed the problem cosmetically but has done nothing at all to deal with the actual root of the problem: CompStat," he says. "This is the driving force behind the NYPD's obsession with numbers."

Norinsberg says his office has been "flooded with e-mails from other officers who have reported downgrading and non-reporting of crime merely to pad their commander's stats."

"It is a gross distortion of the truth to suggest that manipulation of crime statistics occurred only in the 81st Precinct," he says. "This is a citywide problem."

As for the other man at the center of the story—Mauriello—he is in a sort of limbo himself. He was transferred to Bronx Transit and charged departmentally 18 months ago, but little has happened since then—much to the irritation of his lawyer and union representative.

Roy Richter, the president of the Captains Endowment Association, says that despite the broad allegations contained in the report, Mauriello is only charged with obstructing the taking of a single auto-theft report.

"It's important to note that Mauriello was not charged in any administrative action related to the broad conclusions that are contained in the report," Richter says. "Prior to the investigation, his command was rated very highly in previous crime-statistics audits. We will challenge the charges against him. We feel he's been wrongly charged."

Mauriello is on full duty in the Bronx Transit command as an executive officer. During his time at the 81st Precinct, his command won a coveted unit citation for outstanding performance, and he was promoted.

As for the charge that Mauriello misled investigators, Richter says: "He was directed to recall incidents that happened a year or more before. It's difficult for any person or police officer or reporter to describe a timeline of events that happened 12 months previous. There was no misleading. He testified to the best of his memory at the time."

Lou La Pietra, Mauriello's lawyer, says his client denies the charges filed against him. "He's a fall guy," La Pietra says. "I don't know why, whether it's being done for political or litigation reasons. But he wants to move forward."

Richter and La Pietra are critical of the department delay to bringing the case to trial. "He was served in October 2010, and they haven't done anything more since," La Pietra says. "The guy's been put out to pasture 18 months. I don't know what their bigger agenda is."

grayman@villagevoice.com

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