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Department Of Investigation Report Says Mayor De Blasio Misused His Security Detail As 'Concierge Service'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A damning report from his own Department of Investigation is slamming Mayor Bill de Blasio for misusing NYPD detectives.

The report found he used them as a highly paid "concierge service" to run errands, ferry his children, friends and staffers, and run daily security checks on his Brooklyn rental properties.

CBS2's political reporter Marcia Kramer said the report also called on the mayor to repay the city nearly $320,000 in travel expenses for cops who protected him when he ran for president.

Web Extra: Read The Report (.pdf)

What can you say about a man who ran for mayor saying he wanted to end the tale of two cities and then, once elected, seems to have adopted the kingly air of the entitled, Kramer reported.

What's stunning here is that the findings and the criticism come from one of his own commissioners.

"It's not security. It's essentially a concierge service," said DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett.

Garnett had a biting assessment of how de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, used the highly paid, highly trained and armed detectives assigned to protect them as, essentially, Uber drivers for their children, Dante and Chiara, their guests, their staff, and their friends.

"There was a culture that treated the detail as if they were staffers in City Hall or in the mayor's office, as opposed to what their role actually is, which is to ensure the personal protection of the mayor and, if necessary, his family," Garnett said.

According to the report, detectives:

  • Drove Dante de Blasio to college in New Haven
  • Picked him up at train stations
  • Once he graduated, drove him to work in Brooklyn every day
  • Picked the mayor's brother up at the airport when he came to visit, and once drove him to Palmyra, New Jersey to pick up a Zipcar an hour and 45 minutes away
  • Staffers were driven by cops on mayoral errands to pick up food and coffee
  • One staffer got a ride home because "she is Jewish and needs to get home for Passover," the report said
  • The head of the mayor's security detail, Inspector Howard Redmond, ordered a detective to drive a female staffer to her Brooklyn apartment after Redmond spent three hours in a bar with her

The report also found that cops were assigned to do daily security checks on the two rental properties de Blasio owns in Park Slope.

"Just like it wouldn't be appropriate for the Secret Service to be checking on the Trump condos on the West Side when he was president, it's not appropriate use of security detail resources to have them checking on his personal property," Garnett said.

Even more damning, the report slammed Redmond for trying to obstruct the investigation.

"[He] deliberately sought to destroy his NYPD-issued phone after he was informed that he must surrender it for production to DOI," Garnett said. "Misled the NYPD's own lawyers about his compliance with the production command, and deleted all communications from both his City Hall and NYPD phones."

The mayor slammed the report, saying the NYPD should make security decisions for him and his family, not civilian DOI investigators.

"DOI chose not to ask the very people who were in charge why decisions were made, why things were done to protect me, my family and others they protect. To me, that omission is just plain unprofessional and unfair and inaccurate," de Blasio said.

The DOI commissioner fired back.

"Frankly, for the mayor, who is the head of every city agency, to question DOI's professionalism and integrity really undermines every other investigation we have going right now or in the future," Garnett said.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterintelligence John Miller defended the chauffeured rides and other actions because of threats to the de Blasios.

"Three hundred and eight separate threats, 33 of those have specifically referenced his family within the threat. Eleven of those against the first lady of New York City, and 14 of those have been against the mayor's children," Miller said.

Miller said another threat came from a man charged with killing a major mafioso.

"In 2019, an individual was challenged by security at Gracie Mansion for acting suspiciously on the perimeter and he stated to them he was there to conduct a citizen's arrest," Miller said.

Miller told CBS2 that was a reference to Anthony Commello, accused of killing Gambino crime boss Frank Cali three weeks after the Gracie Mansion incident.

There are several things to note. First, the mayor is contesting the need to repay the city for the travel and meal expenses racked up by cops on his presidential campaign. Second, the DOI referred the obstruction case against the head of his security detail to the Manhattan DA.

"I've worked with him for eight years. I found him to be an incredibly devoted public servant, a person of real integrity," de Blasio said of Redmond.

Miller also praised Redmond, but said the NYPD would cooperate with the obstruction investigation.

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