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She Snared Shawn

May 7, 2018

Gabi Grecko, the prostitute at the heart of the ongoing NYPD corruption scandal, has ensnared another victim. This time it’s not a cop.

Click here to read what the police brass say about NYPD ConfidentialIt’s Shawn Cohen, the former NY Post police bureau chief, who in 2016 wrote in delicious detail how Grecko, dolled up in a flight attendant’s uniform, had been paid to have sex with cops on a 2013 private jet trip to Las Vegas.

What Cohen didn’t write was that he, himself, had an affair with Grecko.

“We had a short personal relationship that ended long before it was ‘exposed,’” he wrote in an email to NYPD Confidential. Asked whether he had paid her for sex, he said in an email, “No, of course not.”

Click here to read the New York Times profile of Leonard LevittGrecko is expected to testify in the federal trial of Deputy Inspector James Grant, who was one of the cops she allegedly had sex with on the plane. The trip was arranged by Grant’s co-defendant, Jeremy Reichberg, a Brooklyn businessman, and by Reichberg’s former pal, Jona Rechnitz, a donor to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign. Both are accused of providing Grant with lavish gifts as they sought to ingratiate themselves with the department’s top brass.

In another email, Cohen explained that, when his relationship with Grecko became known to “others” earlier last week, he notified the Post, which fired him. He declined to say who those “others” were or how they learned of his relationship with Grecko.

"Following the publication of a news article I wrote about a witness in an investigation, we had a brief personal relationship,” Cohen said in another email that he also sent to the Daily News. “As a journalist, I certainly appreciate how this looks given her past profession and the fact I’d written about her, but the reality is quite innocent. That said, I should have exercised better judgment because of the particular circumstances involved here and because I continued to cover related topics.”

Specifically, he continued to write about her.

A crack reporter who since joining the Post in 2014 has had his share of exclusive stories, Cohen added in a telephone call: "I've been a reporter for 27 years and never had a blemish on my record."

Generally in the news business, reporters don’t write about people they’re personally involved with, sexually or otherwise, unless they spell it out in the story. Media properties like the Post, which is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, sometimes operate under a different standard.

Click here to read the Washington Post article on NYPD ConfidentialWay back in the day when Mr. Murdoch hired Your Humble Servant as the Post’s investigative editor, he said specifically to me, “You cannot break the law.” Anything less than that, such as phone-hacking — which in 2011 forced Mr. Murdoch to close his News of the World in London — was apparently acceptable behavior.

As for the Post, in 2009 its Sunday book editor Abby Wisse Schacter contracted me to write a review of a book “Bad Cop “ — subtitled “New York’s least likely police officer tells all,” by Paul Bacon. On Feb. 17th I sent in my review.

Imagine my surprise when I opened my Post the following Sunday, February 22nd. Instead of my review, what I’d written appeared in a news story under the byline of Post reporter “Cynthia R. Fagan.”

When I telephoned Wisse Schacter for an explanation she said she was no longer the book editor. I never heard from her again.

Cohen declined to say what reason the Post gave for firing him. Unless we missed it, the newspaper has offered no public explanation.

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