The New York Daily News by ROCCO PARASCANDOLA - August 10, 2010
Memos in stationhouse weren't seeking quotas, Kelly says
A police whistleblower is suing the NYPD for $50 million for locking him up in a psych ward after he accused his bosses of tampering with crime stats. Brooklyn cop Adrian Schoolcraft claims his bosses wanted to wreck his reputation because he had proof they were fudging numbers at the 81st Precinct. "They wanted to intimidate and silence him," said Schoolcraft's lawyer, Jon Norinsberg. "And they wanted to destroy his credibility so that no one would believe him when he went public with his charges." The NYPD has portrayed the 35-year-old Bedford-Stuyvesant cop as a bumbling, unstable officer. He spent six days under psychiatric observation at Jamaica Hospital after a confrontation with cops who came to his Queens home on Halloween. Cops say he went AWOL from work. The suit, to be filed in Manhattan Federal Court Tuesday, says precinct brass had plenty of reasons to want Schoolcraft locked away. The suit takes aim at Deputy Inspector Steven Mauriello, the former commanding officer of the 81st Precinct, and at Deputy Chief Michael Marino. The second-in-command for Brooklyn North, Marino was among at least a dozen cops who showed up at Schoolcraft's Glendale apartment. In 2006, an arbitrator ruled that Marino, then running the 75th Precinct, broke state labor law by punishing cops who did not meet ticket and arrest quotas. "Marino had a lot to lose if Adrian went public about the corruption at the 81st Precinct," Norinsberg said. Marino did not respond to a request for comment. The lawsuit says the hospital kept Schoolcraft against his will. "They did absolutely nothing to assess Adrian's mental state," Norinsberg said. "There were no tests done." After his release, the Daily News spoke to 10 of 14 victims whose names Schoolcraft had passed onto internal investigators. Seven said precinct cops refused to take their reports, downgraded felonies to misdemeanors or gave them wrong information about reporting a crime. A short time later, Schoolcraft released tapes capturing Mauriello and other supervisors pushing cops to meet quotas and greeting crime victims with skepticism, even not taking their reports in some cases. The NYPD initially stood by Mauriello, but Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly last month transferred him to Bronx Transit. Schoolcraft, an eight-year veteran, remains under suspension for leaving work without permission. He denies that charge.