By Michael V. Cusenza
A beleaguered 106th Precinct detective currently under investigation by the Queens District Attorney’s Office for allegedly lying on case reports has been banished to the bullpen sans gun and shield, according to a New York Daily News report.
However, the tabloid indicated that Det. Thomas Rice, 45, was officially suspended and assigned to desk duty “amid an Internal Affairs Bureau probe of whether he worked his Long Island off-duty snow plowing and power-washing business on NYPD time.”
Rice owns Island-Wide Pressure Washing, which is based in Wantagh, Long Island.
Rice made headlines in January for a scheme The Forum called “almost too ridiculous to believe.” According to the News, who derisively dubbed Rice “Det. Do-Little,” the gumshoe actually got very little gum on his shoes: He allegedly made up fake names and addresses to improperly close at least 22 grand larceny and auto theft cases over a 12-month period in 2011 and 2012, all while assigned to the 106th Precinct Detective Squad, an NYPD investigation found.
Rice, who lives on Long Island, allegedly often used the same fake names and made-up addresses across multiple reports and cut-and-pasted the exact same statements, including typos, into reports. Four different supervisors in the 106, including Rice’s lieutenant, signed off on the breathtaking fraud, an internal investigation uncovered.
Even after he was exposed, Rice was just docked 20 vacation days and briefly demoted. Since 2013, he has been a detective in the 67th Precinct in Brooklyn.
Rice’s lawyer ripped the News for how it has characterized his client.
“[Rice] has performed admirably in the six years since then while assigned to the 67th Precinct, and has been utterly and maliciously humiliated and vilified by the Daily News in the last several months,” James Moschella said. “If your goal was to destroy this young man’s life and career, congratulations — you have succeeded.”
Some former NYPD officials blasted Rice for allegedly perpetrating a scheme that ultimately gives all cops a bad name.
“If someone is going to go to the extent of fabricating names and addresses, they just don’t care about the people they are supposed to be serving,” retired NYPD Chief of Patrol and former City Transportation Commissioner Wilbur Chapman told the News in January. “He was able to accomplish this because no one was paying attention. It’s an insult to all the detectives who are out there working very hard to solve cases.”
By Michael V. Cusenza