Bill de Blasio

Head of ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio's NYPD detail to be charged in cover-up case

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was accused in 2019 of improperly ordering his NYPD security detail to shuttle his son to Yale, a charge he denied

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The former head of ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio's security detail, an NYPD official, is expected to be charged Wednesday with obstruction-related charges stemming from allegations he helped cover up an investigation into the mayor's presidential campaign.

New York City investigators in 2021 concluded that de Blasio misused his NYPD detail for personal and political purposes, and that Inspector Howard Redmond actively obstructed a subsequent investigation of that detail. The mayor was issued fines by the Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB), fines he is currently challenging in civil court.

In the Department of Investigation report, Redmond was accused of having “…deliberately sought to destroy official communications that he knew were sought in a DOI investigation and then misled the NYPD’s own attorneys about his compliance with the demand for records.”

The two sources familiar with the matter say Redmond could appear at 100 Centre Street for a hearing on the expected obstruction-related charges around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday. The Daily News first reported the development.

There was no comment from a spokesperson for DA Alvin Bragg about the expected charges. A spokesman for the Captains Endowment Association - which represents high-ranking NYPD officials - also declined comment.  A spokeswoman for DOI did not immediately return a request for comment, but in recent weeks has declined to comment on the ongoing criminal investigation.  

The 47-page investigation landed nearly two years after allegations arose that de Blasio used his detail to bring his son back to college in Connecticut, among other purported infractions.

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.

Among those:

  • "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."

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.

The DOI'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 at the time.

Read the full DOI report below or click here to read in a new window.

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