The New York City Police Department came under scrutiny in July after a mayoral commission found that corruption within the department was aided by a ‘willful blindness‘ on the part of supervisors. According to the Mollen Commission report, ‘scores of officers told us that they believed the department did not want them to report corruption, that such information was often ignored, and that their careers would be ruined if they did so. The evidence shows that this belief was not unfounded.’ The result, said the commission, was the acceptance of highly organized networks of rogue officers who dealt in drugs and preyed on African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods. As if to accentuate the point, 39 officers in a Harlem precinct were arrested during the year and charged with stealing and selling drugs, extortion, tampering with evidence, and perjury.
In the medical field, National Medical Enterprises, a California-based hospital chain, pleaded guilty in June to paying kickbacks and bribes for referrals. It agreed to pay more than $360 million, believed to be the largest settlement between the government and a health care provider. A former company executive, Peter Alexis, pleaded guilty to similar charges and said in court that more than 50 doctors and others had received payments. Investigators had accused National Medical of handling patients who did not need treatment and filing false insurance claims.