Talk about an awkward business relationship. Former police reporter and Newsday columnist Leonard Levitt continues to visit Police Headquarters every week to gain sources and get tips — even though he was once banned from the building and had to rely on civil rights lawyers to regain his press pass. Levitt, who currently runs the website NYPD Confidential, isn't well liked by the brass at One Police Plaza. “His self-absorbed bitterness and inaccuracy remind me of the old biddy, an aging malicious gossip I knew growing up in the Bronx,'" Paul Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, told the Times in an e-mail.

In fact, even Levitt's best sources refuse to talk to him in Police Headquarters because it would be "career suicide." It's so bad that one police chief actually refused to accept Levitt's business card after being warned by a colleague: “If you get into an accident on the way home, you don’t want that found in your car.”

But Levitt never stops showing up at "The Shack" and asking for interviews — which are always declined. Though he's not popular among police, his colleagues in the press respect his work. “He’s still very well read here, and it’s clear that he’s a burr in their saddle,” said veteran Post reporter, Murray Weiss. “His arrival here was a huge to-do — phone calls from the front desk to upstairs — like he was a fugitive in the building.”

Also voicing his support for Levittt — whose application for press credentials was denied by police last year — is famed former detective Frank Serpico. “I know exactly how he feels because I’ve also walked through that building when I was persona non grata,” said Serpico, who testified against corruption within the agency.