The Manhattan federal jury in an NYPD bribery trial got a little chuckle Wednesday when key witness Jona Rechnitz reminded a defense attorney that there were “hookers everywhere” during Rechnitz’s years bribing cops.
The bizarre comment came as the lawyer was writing up a list of gifts Rechnitz had provided cops and other public officials.
When the lawyer, Susan Necheles, asked if she was missing anything, Rechnitz said yes: jewelry and hookers.
“You should put ‘hookers’ everywhere, ” he said.
Included on the list were “multiple trips” to the Dominican Republic, as well as trips to Las Vegas, Miami, Israel and Los Angeles, including hotels, meals and gifts of watches.
Rechnitz quickly added, “except Israel and LA,” because there were no hookers on those two trips.
But the awkward comment had already elicited guffaws from the room and smiles from fading jurors, who have been listening to Rechnitz for weeks, including five days on cross examination.
Necheles represents Rechnitz’s old pal Jeremy Reichberg, who stands accused of teaming up with him to bribe cops, including ex-NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant, and other public officials.
Rechnitz continues on cross examination Thursday, when he is expected to be questioned by Grant’s lawyer. Rechnitz claims he and Reichberg plied Grant with gifts in exchange for police favors.
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