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Boro Sikh cop will not face bribery charges: DA Brown

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"The matter has been carefully and thoroughly investigated by my Integrity Bureau, which has concluded that there exists insufficient evidence to justify the filing of criminal charges," Brown said in a statement. "The matter has been referred to the Police Department for administrative review." Detective Rudranauth Toolasprashad - more commonly known in Richmond Hill as "Det. Rudy"- along with three of his fellow officers at the 102nd Precinct have been under investigation by the Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau since February 2004 for allegedly expediting the process of obtaining new passports for Sikhs after a Richmond Hill gurdwara burned down in 2002. In addition, Toolasprashad and his colleagues are alleged to have taken bribes from business owners in the area in exchange for parking permits.Although the DA's office did not file criminal charges, the Police Department can still decide to file internal charges.Pending the investigation, Toolasprashad was reassigned to a desk job at the Police Department's Housing Bureau in Brooklyn, where he has been for the past year.Besides saying its investigation was ongoing, the Police Department declined to comment. Toolasprashad's lawyer, Todd Greenberg of Addabbo and Greenberg, said Brown's decision was "expected because the community had confidence in Rudy, a fine and outstanding person." He added that Toolasprashad would routinely give out his cell phone number for members of the community to use whenever there was an emergency. Harpreet Singh Toor, former president of the Sikh Cultural Society, said the relationship between the police and the community has been deteriorating ever since the allegations became known. Although Toor does not live in Richmond Hill, he said he visits the area every day. He said Toolasprashad "built trust between the cops and the community," a trust he said was needed because the Sikh immigrant population is fearful of the police based on experiences in their homeland. "I don't have anybody who I can trust like him," Toor said.He said he was once in a situation similar to Toolasprashad's when he was still president of the Sikh Cultural Society. The vice president of the society filed a complaint that Toor assaulted him in Manhattan, and the allegations were proven false. Toor said the allegations were made to try to strip him of his presidency. He said he called the officer who arrested him to explain the charges, but never received a call back. "I can feel (Rudy's) pain," he said.Maria Thomson, president of the 102nd Precinct Community Council, said she knows Toolaprashad well and the accusations are without merit."I feel that they are allegations and nothing has been proven. He is above this investigation, he has integrity, and we have faith in him."She added that there are "certain people in the community" who did not like Toolasprashad and wanted him out of the precinct, but she would only speculate as to why they do not like him. She said the NYPD's Internal Affairs investigation was "brought up to the point of harassment" when they questioned local business owners about their dealings with Toolasprashad.Greenberg said the situation is creating much stress for Toolasprashad and his family and he urged the Police Department to move quickly with its investigation. Regarding the Internal Affairs inquiry, Greenberg said there were never any formal allegations. Reach intern Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 188.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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