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Top Cop Names His Price: $1M

January 9, 1995

So now it's Million Dollar Bill. That's the price Police Commissioner William Bratton has placed on his services, should he decide to leave as the city's top cop.

Bratton named the $ 1 million figure, apparently in jest, while scotching rumors of his impending departure. Now he says he's "definitely" staying through 1995 and probably beyond.

And here, in his fashion of modestly citing his accomplishments, are his most recent bon mots on the subject:

"I've had a very good year. And next year will be even better. Last year was spring training. This year the season opens. . . .

"I've always been very adept at leaving a winner in all the jobs I've ever been at, but I also leave at an appropriate time when the gains have been cemented in, and those gains have not been cemented in here yet. . . .

"This is the top job in the country. . . . Every commissioner loves it. . . . I've been plotting for years to get here. . . . When I leave, it will be at the top of my form."

What will it take him to leave?

"I have no interest in elective office. No interest in the federal government. . . . I want to go out and run companies. I have a $2.5 billion company here with 40,000 employees. I like making decisions. . . . When I leave, I don't want to go out as a consultant, I don't want to go out as Joe Blow the security director."

And of the recently rumored job offers from Chemical Bank and Citibank? "What I do like is that the [rumored] salary offers are going up. They started at $ 340,000 and last week it was up to $ 480,000. When it reaches $1 million, I'm gone. I'm sorry." He currently earns only $ 110,000 a year.

Invitation declined, thank you. Lewis Manetta, the newly promoted captain of the newly formed 33rd Precinct, was issued an "invitation" by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan to come down and talk about corruption in his former precinct - Harlem's 30th. Manetta can't seem to get out of the "Dirty Thirty's" shadow, although his friends swear he is, as his boss, Chief of Department John Timoney, once put it, "an honest, tough, unpolished diamond in the rough."

Unfortunately for Manetta, an undercover officer testified before the Mollen Commission that Manetta once told the 30th's cops: "If you ever get caught [for corruption], don't say anything." But no one has ever corroborated the undercover's testimony.

Most recently, Sgt. Kevin Nannery, who allegedly headed a gang of rogue 30th Precinct cops known as Nannery's Raiders, claimed Manetta witnessed Printable versionRaiders "booming," or busting down drug dealers' doors without warrants. Nobody has corroborated this, either.

Manetta, meanwhile, declined the feds' invitation. "They asked whether he wished to testify voluntarily," says his lawyer, Richard Dienst. "There are ongoing investigations and his testifying voluntarily wouldn't give him the proper protection - immunity. Clearly he wouldn't be the commanding officer of the 33rd unless he were 100 percent straight."

Say it ain't so, Joe. Cops say it has floated around the department for years, starting on Staten Island, coming in through Brooklyn and into Queens via the 106th Precinct before entering the 108th station house in Long Island City.

"It" is a pyramid scheme, known as "Network," which operates on the principle of a chain letter and which Internal Affairs calls illegal. You buy into it for a couple of thousand dollars, then sign up others. The guy at the top takes a cut from each new contributor. The guy on the bottom loses.

Police Officer Joseph Mascioli of the 108th, a 21-year veteran, was a guy on top. He allegedly pumped up the scheme at meetings at his home and attended other meetings where police sources say the come-on included slide shows, spreadsheets and a steak dinner. Besides some civilians, Mascioli's suckers included 20 fellow officers from the 108th.

Each of the 20 lost $ 1,000 to Mascioli, but none ever complained to authorities. It was a civilian whose lost money Mascioli refused to refund who tipped off Internal Affairs.

In November, Mascioli was brought up on internal charges. They included: "wrongfully promoting pyramid schemes, hosting from 10 to 15 meetings at his home, identifying himself as an NYPD officer and telling guests that 'Network' was not illegal; wrongfully playing 'Network' and making a profit of $ 20,000; [and] making false statements at a patrol hearing."

Mascioli, who's still at the 108th, called the charges "false." He didn't elaborate.

Don't mess with Jim. It's not often that deputy inspectors make steet arrests, especially for drug dealing, but Jim McShane recently did. McShane, commanding officer of the Bronx' 47th Precinct, was in his car at White Plains Road and 241st Street last month, supervising a program known as Losing Proposition, in which female cops dress like hookers to arrest johns. His beeper went off. With no telephone in his car, he parked and searched for the nearest pay phone. A man approached and offered to sell him $10 rocks of crack cocaine. McShane allowed himself to be led into an alley, where the man reached into his pocket and pulled out the crack. McShane reached into his and pulled out his shield.

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Email Leonard Levitt at llevitt@nypdconfidential.com

© 1995 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.