There seems to be trouble brewing on the Bill O’Reilly home front.
Published reports state that early last summer Bill O’Reilly’s wife, Maureen McPhilmy O’Reilly, moved from the family home in Long Island to a separate address she had purchased, changing her voter registration in the process. Bill O’Reilly removed his wife from the Board of the charitable foundation O’Reilly established in his parents honor and he has been spotted recently sans wedding ring. The couple married in 1996 in a Catholic ceremony performed at St. Brigit’s Church in Westbury, New York. They have two children together.
During what Mr. O’Reilly apparently believed to be a “trial separation,” Mrs. O’Reilly began dating a man who worked as a police officer for the Nassau County New York Police Department, a situation that cording to Mr. O’Reilly’s nephew, Brandon Ricci, really “pissed my uncle off.”
Now this may have been just another sad, sordid episode in the life of O’Reilly, who in 2004 settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by a former Factor producer, except for what Gawker.com reports next.
It is alleged that an officer with the NCPB internal affairs department, Richard Harasym, was instructed by him commanding officer, Inspector Neil Delargy, to launch an investigation of the police officer who was courting Mrs. O’Reilly and to warn off the officer from seeing her further.
Harasym confided in a friend through email that there was no reason to investigate the officer other than that officer’s relationship with Mrs. O’Reilly and that he was to share information with two private investigators hired by O’Reilly. Officer Harasym stated that Inspector Delargy told him that the then-Commissioner of Police; Lawrence Mulvey had personally ordered the investigation. Allegedly, Commissioner Mulvey expected O’Reilly to make a “major donation” to the private, nonprofit foundation Mulvey had founded with the express purpose of building a $48 million training facility for law enforcement at Nassau Community College. When reached for comment Mulvey, who retired in April, 2011, denied that he was ever, “contacted by Bill O’Reilly or anyone associated with him and asked to launch an investigation.”
Shockingly, there is no requirement that a foundation operated by a public by a public official for the benefit of a public police department make known its donors, a situation that seems over-ripe for abuse.
Apparently those same thoughts crossed the mind of the people working at the Long Island Press newspaper who had launched an investigation of allegations that donors to Commissioner Mulvey’s foundation were receiving preferential treatment from police officials. While working on that story the Editor of the Press received a telephone call from Bill O’Reilly’s assistant who stated that their Boss, “did not receive any preferential treatment from Mulvey.” Up until that point the newspaper had not been investigating O’Reilly in connection with that story.
Officer Harasym reportedly declined to investigate Mrs. O’Reilly’s beau and it is not known how much further the investigation was taken. A spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department, detective Lieutenant Kevin Smith stated that, “It’s not our policy to identify complainants in cases, and we don’t divulge information about administrative investigations."
When Gawker asked Det. Lt. Smith if a complaint that an unmarried officer is in a relationship with the wife of a private citizen would be legitimate grounds to launch an internal investigation; Lt. Det. Smith answered, “Could be,” and went on to state, “We don’t look lightly on citizen complaints.”
Gawker filed a request under New York’s Freedom of Information Act to access documents related to the investigation but were denied by the NY-FOIA’s Legal Department without confirmation or denial that any such records do or do not exist. They have filed an appeal.
In a case with far reaching implications of abuse of power, potential bribery and betrayal of public trust, it doesn’t seem prudent to place such a weight on Gawkers slim shoulders. Hopefully the public union representing the targeted officer will demand a full and complete investigation of this possible act of civic indecency.