2015-02-04 / Front Page

Cops Clear LIC Cleric of Extortion Charges

Investigators at the NYPD Major Case Squad recently cleared a Long Island City pastor of extortion charges made by employees and owners of a soon-to-open Holiday Inn Hotel.

Police closed their investigation into allegations that Bishop Mitchell Taylor tried to force hotel personnel and the hotel manager to submit to his demands to provide jobs for residents of the nearby Queensbridge Houses, along with an undisclosed amount of cash for one of Taylorl’s charities, after their investigation showed the charges were “unsubstantiated,” law enforcement sources said.

The hotel owners made the charges after surveillance footage surfaced that showed Taylor brawling with employees inside the lobby of the Long Island City hotel, tee sources said.

Taylor, a senior pastor at the Center of Hope International Church re rebuked the allegations, saying he did not start the argument. Taylor said he was only defending himself after the workers tried to stop him from leaving the hotel.

Taylor, a longtime Queensbridge activist and member of the NYPD Civilian Complaint Review Board, said he is grateful for the thorough NYPD investigation and for the decision by investigators at the Major Case Squad to clear him of the charges.

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