A rookie cop whose dad is an NYPD chief avoided getting fired after an off-duty arrest for groping a woman at an Atlantic City casino, police sources told the Daily News.
The department’s handling of Officer Joseph Essig’s case raises questions among police sources who suspect high-ranking officers and those close to them are treated with kid gloves in discipline cases.
Just 15 months into his brand-new NYPD career — on Oct. 8, 2015 — Essig was arrested at Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City on a felony charge of criminal sexual misconduct.
New Jersey authorities downgraded the charge to a health code violation. Essig pleaded guilty, was ordered to stay away from the victim, and paid a $1,000 fine.
Officers facing similar charges with less than two years on the force are typically fired, say sources.
But Essig remains on the job. A police source said that’s “shocking.”
“Other probationary cops have been fired for way less,” said the source.
Essig’s dad is NYPD Assistant Chief James Essig. There’s no sign Chief Essig called in any chits for his son, said sources. But they had little doubt that Joseph Essig caught a big break when he was allowed to keep his job.
“People see the name and the case gets treated differently,” is how one source put it.