According to public officials, Jerome M. Hauer, commissioner of New York State’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, was giving a presentation to a foreign delegation when he needed to point to something on his briefing about Superstorm Sandy.
Lacking a laser pointer, Hauer drew his handgun and used the laser target designator attached to it to draw attention to the salient point. According to the officials the incident “rattled” three members of the Swedish delegation “when the gun’s laser tracked across one of their heads before Hauer found the map of New York, at which he wanted to point.”
The incident occurred on October 24th at the “highly secure state emergency operations center below State Police headquarters,” according to the Times Union. Reporters have since contacted Governor Andrew Cuomo’s press aide several times but have received no comment.
When approached by a reporter at the state Capitol after a meeting with Gov. Cuomo, Hauer is reported to have said “You have bad sources” and refused to take further questions.
According to a witness who was in the room at the time of the alleged incident “two people opposite Hauer at the table moved quickly out of the line of the laser when he brought out the gun”
It is not clear why Hauer, who is not a law enforcement officer, was allowed to carry a loaded handgun into a state office building. Hauer “was disabled by a stroke a few years ago and can be unsteady,” according to the Times Union, but he does have a license to carry a firearm in Albany and New York City. Reporters questioning whether Hauer received a “carve-out” from the Public Facilities Law that would have barred him from carrying a weapon inside a state office have so far not received an answer.
Hauer is paid a salary of $136,000. He has previously been recognized for his knowledge on bioterrorism and was director of New York City’s Office of Emergency Management under Rudy Giuliani.