One Police Plaza

Two-Day Career At Info Office

March 13, 1995

Bradford Billet lasted just two days at One Police Plaza.

Billet, 28, was among the first wave of civilians dispatched last week by City Hall to help run the NYPD's public information office, known as DCPI. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had transferred the 28 cops who had run the office, labeling them "untrustworthy" as part of his well-publicized dispute with Police Commissioner William Bratton.

For the past 10 months Billet had been a $ 69,000-a-year associate executive director at the Emergency Medical Service. Before that he was the chief financial officer for his family's oiland gas-exploration company, where, according to his resume, his job was to "negotiate multimillion-dollar contracts with the USSR and West African countries." He'd also made two minor contributions totaling $ 285 to the mayor's 1993 election campaign.

Down at One Police Plaza, Billet spent his first morning puttering around DCPI's 13th-floor office. Then, in the afternoon, he skipped out to the auditorium to attend the department's annual Irish Heritage celebration, plopping himself down into a front row seat next to the mayor's press secretary, Cristyne Lategano.

While the mayor waxed eloquent over the ultimate sacrifice of Irish-American police officers, Billet was reportedly restless and fidgeting. His behavior was observed by Peter LaPorte, 30, Bratton's chief of staff, who was seated in the second row.

When the ceremony ended, Billet was talking to a New York Newsday reporter when a furious LaPorte yanked him away. A few minutes later, red-faced and shaken, LaPorte returned. "I just chewed that guy's - - - out," he reported. "I was sitting right behind him during the ceremony. I didn't know who he was but I saw he was bored with it. He was making fun of it. They were singing Irish songs and talking about Irish cops killed in the line of duty and he was rolling his eyes. He may not be of that ethnic group but he has the obligation to be respectful. I told him he had no business in this building if this is the way he was conducting himself. I was shocked, offended at his behavior."

Later, Billet denied LaPorte had chewed him out. "That may be his interpretation. It's not mine."

But the next day he was transferred out of Police Plaza and back to EMS, the shortest DCPI career in memory.

Reggie's revenge.
Now that the Queens district attorney has labeled the so-called "Rockaway Five" case a hoax, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association attorneys have filed suit against the lawyers who lobbed accusations of sexual misconduct against a Queens cop. The Rockaway Five are a group of van drivers who charged they had been sodomized by Police Officer Reggie Rivera. Eight other people later came forward to make complaints against him. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown spent a year before concluding they had made it up.

Now the PBA's law firm of Lysaght and Kramer has filed a $ 6-million lawsuit against Leon Greenberg and Adam Thompson. Greenberg and Thompson are the attorneys who represent the so-called victims.

On March 10, 1994, the suit charges, Greenberg and Thompson held a news conference charging that Rivera "sexually assaulted six [sic] men . . . and raped 100 other men . . . Officer Rivera committed these acts while on duty . . . [and] is a racist cop who must be arrested."

The suit charges their words were false and defamatory, were known to both attorneys to be so and were "nevertheless spoken willfully and maliciously and with intent to injure and damage this plaintiff in his good name and reputation."

Despite it all, Greenberg maintained the rapes occurred and that "the statements are true." He labeled the lawsuit "harassment and publicity-seeking against my clients and against myself and Mr. Thompson."

Full disclosure?
Law enforcement officials are still fuming over what they call the Mollen Commission's lack of full disclosure, including its dealings with Charles Brown. He's the imprisoned ex-cop who led the commission to his brother, the undercover "Officer Otto" of the 30th Precinct. In return for his help, the Mollen Commission paid Otto $ 2,500 to give to Brown's wife.

According to Brown's personnel file, which was entered into the court record when he was convicted of perjury in 1993, Brown joined the force in 1984 and was assigned to the 30th Precinct, where he was accused of theft and failure to voucher property. In 1985 he was transferred to a street crime unit and two years later to the 20th Precinct after suspicions he had been involved with drug dealers, had shaken down Times Square merchants, given drug dealers PBA cards and frequented a known drug location owned by his wife.

In October, 1992, while awaiting his perjury trial, he was assigned to the auto pound in Whitestone, Queens. In Baltimore, a few months earlier, a relative of former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese had been murdered and the victim's car stolen. Brown ran the car's vehicle inspection number for a friend in New Jersey who had called him about the car. Though the VIN run indicated the car was wanted by federal authorities in a homicide case, Brown never notified them. He did notify his friend, who dumped the car.

©1995 Newsday, Inc.Reprinted with permission.