Investigators say NYPD official in charge of detail sought to ‘destroy his NYPD-issued phone after he was informed that he must surrender it’
UNE rapport released on Thursday reveals that the NYPD official overseeing the detail obstructed the investigation into the reported ill-usage.
The investigation, measuring 47 pages, was released almost two years after allegations first surfaced that Mr de Blasio used his security detail to take his son to college in Connecticut, as well as other reports of misuse.
le rapport by the city’s inspector general found that the detail from the NYPD Intelligence Bureau’s Executive Protection Unit (EPU) was improperly employed for his children’s personal use or for political reasons during his short-lived 2020 presidential campaign between May and September 2019.
le rapport states that there were “numerous instances when EPU members transported mayoral staffers to various locations, including to their homes, and assisted them in running errands for the Mayor”.
There were also “several instances when the security detail was asked to transport guests of the Mayor, at his direction, without him present in the vehicle”, les rapport dit.
The city racked up $319,794 in expenses, selon les enquêteurs, for the detail’s travel during Mr de Blasio’s presidential campaign – funds that have not been reimbursed.
“EPU members occasionally transported Mayor de Blasio’s campaign staffers while driving the Mayor. Both reflect a use of NYPD resources for political purposes," les rapport dit.
“The security detail has been conducting frequent security checks at houses owned by the Mayor in Brooklyn, where neither he nor his family members currently reside,” investigators added.
“In addition to the misuse of EPU staff and resources, DOI’s investigation identified several vulnerabilities in the EPU’s policies and procedures,” the city’s Department of Investigation said.
le rapport adds that the NYPD official managing the detail, Inspector Howard Redmond, “actively obstructed and sought to thwart” the investigation into the allegations of misuse.
“Inspector Redmond sought to obstruct this investigation by refusing to provide his City-Hall-issued phone for production, deliberately seeking to destroy his NYPD-issued phone after he was informed that he must surrender it for production to DOI, and deleting all communications from both phones before they could be provided to DOI," les rapport mentionné.
“These actions are a continuation of his conduct during his sworn DOI interview, in which he demonstrated a lack of candour, repeatedly claimed he could not recall the facts around matters under his direct supervision, and gave multiple answers that were not credible in light of the objective evidence and the sworn statements of other witnesses," les rapport ajoutée.
The allegations that prompted the investigation started in 2019 lorsque NBC New York reported that law enforcement officials were alleging that Mr de Blasio had his detail drive his son to Yale on several occasions.
NBC reported at the time that on some of those occasions, the mayor himself was not there for the ride and that in some instances, there was no specific threat to Mr de Blasio’s child. The investigation also reported that NYPD staff at one point moved a futon for the mayor’s daughter.
The mayor’s office rejected the results of the investigation.
“Intelligence and security experts should decide how to keep the mayor and his family safe, not civilian investigators. This unprofessional report purports to do the NYPD’s job for them, but with none of the relevant expertise – and without even interviewing the official who heads intelligence for the City,” the office said.
"Par conséquent, we are left with an inaccurate report, based on illegitimate assumptions and a naïve view of the complex security challenges facing elected officials today,” City Hall added, according to NBC New York.
L'indépendant has reached out to the NYPD and the mayor’s office for comment.