NYPD detectives have been warned to stay away from a private investigator who’s allegedly part of a burgeoning “cottage industry” in which gang members score cash settlements from the city by filing bogus civil-rights suits against cops, The Post has learned.
An email blast from the head of the detectives union says disgraced ex-cop Manuel Gomez “has been misrepresenting himself with the ruse that he has ‘important information’ for Detectives in order to gain access to our membership.”
“Once access is gained, he engages a Detective in conversation for the purpose(s) of extracting information on cases that he is investigating,” Detectives’ Endowment Association President Michael Palladino wrote in the email, obtained by The Post on Thursday.
“In all likelihood, he tapes the conversation(s). We strongly recommend that Detectives do not engage in any conversation with this man. Our recommendation is to avoid any contact with PI Manny Gomez.”
Palladino’s email also contained a photo of Gomez, 50.
Gomez is a key figure in the $175 million notice of claim filed against the city Wednesday by Det. David Terrell, who claims Gomez works with the Nwokoro & Scola law firm to file suits based on “false allegations of police misconduct.”
Palladino told The Post he sent his email upon learning that Gomez recently showed up unannounced at the 42nd Precinct headquarters in The Bronx and tried to question Terrell’s partner, Det. Daniel Brady.
Gomez was tossed out of the station house when cops realized what he was up to, law-enforcement sources said.
Gomez runs Black Ops Private Investigators in The Bronx, which has an official address in his apartment over a laundromat and barber shop in the Pelham Bay section, but in 2015 was denied a “carry business” pistol permit by the NYPD’s Licensing Division.
Grounds for the decision included his getting fired from the NYPD for “being disciplined for negative behavior on numerous occasions,” and “false statements” on his application, which included failing to disclose that he was institutionalized for mental illness and had “three prior arrests,” court records show.
Gomez joined the NYPD in 1998, but was fired “for cause” in 2011 following his arrest for allegedly pointing a gun at three bystanders — and pistol-whipping one — when they intervened in a 2009 fight between him and his girlfriend in The Bronx, court records show.
Prosecutors dropped the charges against him, but the NYPD pressed discplinary charges that led to him getting canned.
Gomez challenged that decision in court, but it was upheld by an appeals court that ruled it “does not shock our sense of fairness.”
Prior to his firing, Gomez filed suit over his punishment for being found guilty of five departmental misconduct charges — including failing to seize drugs during an “integrity test” and failing to report a domestic incident to the NYPD.
An appeals court ruled that the the penalties — loss of 30 vacation days of and a “one-year dismissal probation” — were “excessive” because Gomez got decorated during several tours of military duty in Afghanistan and lost “substantial pay” while serving overseas.
But the NYPD appealed to the state’s highest court, which reversed that decision and threw out Gomez’ case.
On Wednesday, Gomez acknowledged that he had tried to question Brady, and said he secretly videotaped the entire encounter.
“I always go to face the enemy,” Gomez said.
Source: New York Post