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NYPD captain gets plum assignment after acquittal of misconduct charges


NYPD Captain Naoki Yaguchi is pictured during an administrative hearing at Bronx Criminal Court. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/for New York Daily News)

What a difference a week makes.

NYPD Capt. Naoki Yaguchi was tapped Friday to run the Central Park Precinct, the Daily News has learned.

Just seven days earlier Yaguchi’s fate was in the hands of a Bronx judge — who acquitted him of official misconduct and obstructing governmental administration.

Prosecutors charged the 14-year NYPD veteran delayed a Breathalyzer test for off-duty Detective Efrain Medina after he was in a two-car crash on Fordham Road on April 22, 2017.

Yaguchi, 37, was the 40th Precinct’s second-in-command at the time but was working that night as the duty captain, making him responsible for responding to serious incidents in the Bronx.

He was accused of delaying Medina’s trip to the 45th Precinct for a breath test. The lost time meant less reliable results, according to prosecutors and they decided not to use them. Medina later pleaded guilty to driving while impaired.

Justice Judith Lieb cleared Yaguchi of all charges on May 24.

Police Commissioner James O’Neill moved quickly to give Yaguchi the spot because he believed strongly in his innocence and wanted to send a message that he felt the captain was maligned, two police sources said.

Yaguchi, the first Japanese-American NYPD captain, is now the first precinct commander of Japanese ancestry.

The head of Yaguchi’s union said the promotion was warranted.

“I am happy to see this positive action by the police commissioner after the captain spent the last two years fighting the wrongful prosecution (by) the Bronx District Attorney,” said Roy Richter Captains Endowment Association.