New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio used police officers and his own security detail to assist in moving his daughter from her Brooklyn apartment in 2018, a report released by New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) found.
The 49-page report, released in October, indicates that multiple members of the Executive Protection Unit (EPU) and of the New York Police Department (NYPD) were present and assisted in moving personal belongings – specifically, a futon – from her apartment in Brooklyn, New York to the mayor’s mansion, according to the report. A NYPD “sprinter van” was also used to transport some of her furniture. The investigation was unable to determine whether the police resources were used at de Blasio’s instruction.
“The provision of the sprinter van and the assistance of NYPD personnel in physically moving furniture was a misuse of NYPD resources for a personal benefit, whether it was requested or merely accepted,” the report says.
There were multiple instances in which de Blasio’s son, Dante, was driven by EPU detectives to or from Yale University. It was also discovered that often times detectives would drive Dante to various locations around New York City. The mayor or first lady were not present during these excursions, the investigation found.
Both de Blasio’s children are entitled to full-time protection, the report says, but both declined to have an assigned detail as adults. Therefore, Dante’s use of NYPD resources were for personal reasons, according to the investigation. (RELATED: ‘Neutered The Police And Handcuffed Them’: Seth Barron Pummels Mayor De Blasio For Crime Surge In NYC)
These were not the only instance of de Blasio misusing city resources, according to the DOI’s investigation.
The DOI investigation also found that EPU members would transport mayoral staff to their homes, or assist them in running personal errands for the Mayor. There were other instances in which he instructed detectives to transport guests, the report says.
For approximately one year, detectives had been frequently checking in on properties owned by the mayor, where neither he or any of his family members currently reside, the DOI investigation says.
— Jonathan Tasini (Substack Working Life Newsletter) (@jonathantasini) October 7, 2021
The DOI determined that the city of New York spent approximately $320,000 sending the Mayor’s security detail on his presidential campaign trips. He has yet to reimburse the city, according to the report. (RELATED: Bill De Blasio Draws Six-Person Crowd In New Hampshire)
These multiples instances of EPU and NYPD usage, is in potential violation of New York’s Conflicts of Interest Law, that states “public servants may not use […] personnel, equipment, supplies or resources for non-City purpose, nor may they pursue personal or private activities during times when they are required to work for the City.”
The DOI has made 13 recommendations for the NYPD, the New York City Mayor’s Office, the Conflicts of Interest Board, and the Department of Records and Information Services revolving around improving trainings for mayoral staff, creating policies for NYPD regarding out-of-state travel, record maintenance for travel expenses, and other office procedures.
“The ultimate decisions on how to align security, on how to protect those chosen by the people to lead, need to be made by the NYPD,” de Blasio said during his daily news conference Tuesday.
“Anyone who wants to understand those choices, or what the priorities are, or what works, or what’s been learned over the years of fighting terrorism, and now the internal violence we are seeing in this country, should turn to the NYPD. Very strangely, the DOI did not do that. They did not turn to the security experts, even though I made abundantly clear who I turn to for guidance. DOI chose not to.”
“We are left with an inaccurate report, based on illegitimate assumptions and a nave view of the complex security challenges facing elected officials today,” a spokesperson for de Blasio said.
“Intelligence and security experts should decide how to keep the mayor and his family safe, not civilian investigators,” they said.
The findings of this investigation may have some additional consequences.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is considering filing criminal charges against Inspector Howard Redmond, the man who oversee’s the EPU, according to the New York Post.
Following the release of the investigations findings, the DOI’s Commissioner, Margaret Garnett, said during a press conference that Redmond has been referred to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for possible criminal prosecution.
“The criminal matter that we found in the investigation was … the potential obstruction charge,” she said.