The NYPD, known around the world as a shining beacon of tolerance and open-mindedness, has further burnished its reputation by promoting a cop who liked to put on women's clothing and hang around in the Meatpacking District. Michael Pilecki, a 27-year NYPD veteran, was promoted to full inspector in a ceremony at Police Headquarters yesterday. But ten years ago, his future in the department didn't look to promising, because he was investigated by Internal Affairs after an incident in 2000.

The Daily News reports that two cops spotted Pilecki wearing a wig and a dress while sitting in an unmarked police car near West 14th Street, and investigators subsequently concluded he was authorized to have the department vehicle and didn't violate any rules. As one NYPD source puts it, "Everybody has things that they have to overcome. It was dealt with at that time. How long do you have to be punished for your sins when there was no evil intent?" We're not sure if cross-dressing is considered a mortal sin or a cardinal sin, but it's nice to know that the NYPD synod has absolved Pilecki of his "transgressions"!

Also absolved yesterday was Capt. Vincent Salerno, who was promoted to deputy inspector. In 2005, Salerno was accused of driving away when police got into a shoot-out with a parolee in East Harlem. Salerno claimed that an innocent bystander had jumped into his unmarked vehicle, and that he sped off in order to get the frightened civilian to safety, and then returned. The accusations of cowardice leveled by his fellow officers were never substantiated.