A report released Thursday, Oct. 7 by the Department of Investigation (DOI) alleges that New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio used NYPD officers responsible for his and his family’s security for personal use and unwarranted political purposes, reported the New York Post.
According to the report, the Democratic mayor spent nearly $320,000 of public funds to travel the country with NYPD security during his failed presidential campaign, even seeing a Red Sox baseball game in California. During these trips, the security service rarely fulfilled its task of protecting the mayor.
The DOI commissioner who filed the report, Margaret Garnett, criticized the mayor for using a public resource such as the police for political purposes.
“This investigation substantiated that New York City expended more than $300,000 on travel costs alone for the mayor’s security detail during his presidential run. Under existing COIB guidance, these expenses must be repaid by the mayor, either personally or through his campaign,” the commissioner told reporters.
The 49-page report, which was based primarily on interviews with the officers, reveals that the mayor’s family used the NYPD security service to move his daughter, Chiara, from an apartment in Brooklyn to Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence in Manhattan.
The officers even loaded the furniture, the report claims.
“In practice, what is happening is that, you know, it’s not security; it’s essentially a concierge service, primarily for Dante,” the commissioner said. “And that, I think, you know—based on the view of experts we spoke to, and our examination of the facts and this matter—it’s either not good security, or it’s not good government, or both.”
DeBlasio’s son Dante, at the beginning of his tenure, used the security service to go to Yale University in New Haven, Conn. When he graduated, the NYPD would drive him from Gracie Mansion to his job in Brooklyn. On another occasion, they had to drive the mayor’s brother to New Jersey and bring him back without the mayor or his family present.
DeBlasio, in a press conference, said in his defense: “There’s a number of claims in this report and there’s many, many inconsistencies and inaccuracies. Look, I’m honored to be the mayor of this city but my first responsibility is as a father and as a husband, and so I think of the safety of my family all the time.”
But DOI research refutes the mayor’s claims.
“If Dante de Blasio has to pick up a prescription at CVS on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at 2 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon, and he doesn’t want to walk there because it’s raining, then he can be driven there by a trained NYPD detective,” Garnett explained.
“On the other hand, if he wants to go with his friends as young people do, I’m told to, you know, an underground dance party in Bushwick, at 1 a.m. a Saturday night, and be surrounded by hundreds of drunken strangers, and doesn’t want to be a drag to have police officers take him there or be with them, he’s entirely unprotected.” the commissioner added.
In other words, the report does not deny that the NYPD security service must be present at all times to protect the mayor and his family, but accuses deBlasio that in practice, security has not been the parameter used to decide when the details should be used.
Additionally, the DOI asked the district attorney to look into bringing charges against Inspector Howard Redmond, who is in charge of the mayor’s security for repeatedly interfering with the investigation.
“DOI has concluded that the NYPD inspector in charge of the First Family’s security detail actively obstructed and sought to thwart this investigation, frustrating DOI’s efforts to learn the full facts regarding these allegations,” the report states.
Fox News contacted the mayor’s office, which justified the use of the NYPD because of the increasing threats to the deBlasio family.
“Intelligence and security experts should decide how to keep the mayor and his family safe, not civilian investigators,” the mayor’s office told Fox News Digital via email.
“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.”