NEW YORK (AP) — A disgraced former commander in the New York Police Department's gun licensing bureau claimed in a court filing Wednesday that President Donald Trump and his eldest son were among celebrities and donors who got licenses without proper credentials.
The court papers were filed by a lawyer for former Lt. Paul Dean, who seeks leniency after pleading guilty in August to conspiracy to bribe licensing officers. The charge related to plans by Dean to retire from the police department to start a business to help individuals get the coveted permits.
In a court filing Wednesday, attorney Abe George said the bureau had a history of giving star treatment to certain applicants.
He cited several powerful people who allegedly received licenses without normal vetting, including Trump, his former lawyer Michael Cohen and Donald Trump Jr.
Others accused of benefiting from the scheme include business chief executives, Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity, comedian Tracy Morgan, actor Tom Selleck and the owner of a Manhattan nightclub who is accused of gifting members of the police department free lap dances.
The filing did not suggest the Trumps, Cohen or the others did anything wrong or were aware of bribes.
Representatives of Trump and his son did not immediately comment.
In a statement, the police department said the information provided by Dean after his arrest on corruption charges was part of a thorough investigation by the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau, the FBI's Public Corruption Unit and overseen by federal prosecutors.
Those authorities, the statement said, "found no basis to charge any other individual."
In a statement Sean Hannity delivered through a spokesperson, the television personality said he has had his permit for most of his working years at Fox News, which he joined in 1996.
"He has followed every legal and proper procedure for his original application and numerous subsequent renewals," the statement said. It also said he has no relationship with police officials Dean alleged were part of the scheme or with anyone else at the licensing department.
Emails requesting comment from representatives for Morgan and Selleck were not immediately returned Wednesday.
Dean, scheduled for sentencing Jan. 31, signed a plea agreement with prosecutors that recommends a sentence of between 18 and 24 months in prison. Prosecutors have not yet filed their pre-sentence submission.
Dean's lawyer describes his client's 22-year police department career as "unblemished" prior to his 2017 arrest. His filing notes he was among the first responders to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and remained there for months afterward.
It said the leniency was earned in part through "Dean's willingness to break the 'Blue Wall of Silence" and provide truthful information on three separate occasions to the government."
The prosecution alleged corrupt police officers in the licensing division accepted bribes to help expedite over 150 applications for gun licenses from a civilian who received as much as $18,000 per license.
Dean maintained it was long an open secret that gun licenses were for sale as licensing officers accepted alcohol, meals, jewelry and cash.