William Casey, a former New York City deputy police chief who was the hero of the “Dirty 30” corruption investigation that ensnared one-sixth of the officers assigned to a West Harlem precinct, died on Nov. 9 at 78. The scandal — described as the largest police corruption case involving a single precinct in the department’s history — was uncovered by a commission on police corruption appointed by Mayor David Dinkins in 1992 and headed by Justice Milton Mollen. The case was prosecuted by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White. It was left to the police department to conduct the undercover investigation of the precinct, the 30th, whose station house is on West 151st Street, reports the New York Times.
The operation resulted in charges against 34 officers, 30 of whom were convicted or pleaded guilty to crimes ranging from perjury and civil rights violations to stealing drugs or cash from narcotics dealers. The commission, federal prosecutors and police brass agreed that Casey was the most qualified person on the force to conduct the investigation, labeled the “Dirty 30” scandal in the press. can’t imagine anyone else who could have navigated the challenging minefield of operational and investigative issues,” said Michael Horowitz, who prosecuted the case and is now the inspector general of the IU.S. Department of Justice. White said that only Casey’s reputation for integrity had persuaded Justice Mollen to let the police investigate themselves. Casey prevailed upon his bosses to continue the covert operation, so as to gather evidence against more crooked cops. “He was the key to the success of the whole thing,” White said.