What to Know
- A Department of Investigation report out Thursday found NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio misused his NYPD security details for personal and political purposes and at least one NYPD official helped cover it up
- The 47-page investigation landed nearly two years after allegations arose the mayor used his detail to bring his son back to college in Connecticut, among other purported infractions
- City Hall was unsparing in its criticism of the report and investigation, calling the findings in part "based on illegitimate assumptions and a naïve view of the complex security challenges facing elected officials today"
New York City investigators concluded that Mayor Bill de Blasio misused his NYPD security detail for personal and political purposes and that the NYPD official who runs the detail actively obstructed the subsequent investigation, according to a report released Thursday morning.
The Department of Investigation report alleges that NYPD official, identified as Inspector Howard Redmond, "actively obstructed and sought to thwart" the investigation. DOI officials said at a news conference Thursday that they would refer his case to the Manhattan district attorney's office for possible criminal prosecution
The 47-page investigation landed nearly two years after allegations arose the mayor used his detail to bring his son back to college in Connecticut, among other purported infractions. It also comes just one day after the New York Times reported that de Blasio has told associates he will run for governor next year.
City Hall blasted the report as "inaccurate," "unprofessional" and "naive" and said it was based on "illegitimate assumptions."
"There's a number of claims in this report and there's many, many inconsistencies and inaccuracies," De Blasio said during his daily news conference Thursday.
The report concluded there were numerous instances where the mayor's security detail, from the NYPD Intelligence Bureau's Executive Protection Unit (EPU), was misused for either the personal benefit of his children, or for political purposes during his presidential campaign.
- "numerous instances when EPU members transported mayoral staffers to various locations, including to their homes, and assisted them in running errands for the Mayor"
- "several instances when the security detail was asked to transport guests of the Mayor, at his direction, without him present in the vehicle"
- $319,794 in city expenses for the security detail to travel with the mayor during his presidential campaign, none of which has 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"
- "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"
"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 concluded.
But the report took even stronger aim at the NYPD -- and Redmond in particular.
"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," it said. "These actions are a continuation of his conduct during his sworn DOI interview, in which he demonstrated a lack of candor, 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."
DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett later told a news conference that her department would refer its findings on Redmond to the Manhattan district attorney's office for review
Claims that the mayor improperly used the security detail stem back to 2019, when law enforcement sources told NBC New York that de Blasio had the detail drive his son Dante to college at Yale on multiple occasions.
Some of those instances came when the mayor was not present, the law enforcement source told News 4 at the time.
The source said the mayor's NYPD security detail took Dante to Yale "numerous" times when he was enrolled. The source also indicated there was no specific threat to Dante de Blasio at the time of some of those trips.
Thursday's report touched on those trips, and also others, including one episode where NYPD personnel moved furniture -- a futon -- for the mayor's daughter.
"Protecting the mayor and his family is a serious and significant job that should be guided by best practices, formalized procedures, and an understanding that security details are not personal assistants in a dignitary’s daily life but provide essential protection," DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett said in a statement.
The mayor's office was unsparing in its criticism of the report and 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. As a result, 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 said.
Read the full DOI report below or click here to read in a new window.