Progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been accused of being a partisan hack over his criminal indictment of former President Donald Trump, but for what it is worth, the prosecutor has also been pursuing criminal allegations against the prior administration of former progressive New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
On Wednesday, D.A. Bragg announced that he had secured a guilty plea from former New York Police Department Inspector Howard Redmond, who previously served for years as the head of de Blasio's NYPD security detail, according to NYC's Spectrum News.
Redmond pleaded guilty to two felony counts of tampering with evidence, two misdemeanor counts of obstructing governmental administration, and two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct. He avoided any jail time with the plea deal but was sentenced to 10 days of community service, was required to issue a formal apology for his actions, was discharged from the NYPD after 30 years, and was forced to forfeit $250,000 in accrued benefits.
"Inspector Redmond engaged in a clear and brazen pattern of obstruction and tampering throughout the entirety of DOI’s investigation," D.A. Bragg said in a statement in reference to Redmond's uncooperativeness with the NYC Department of Investigation's probe into allegations of the former mayor's misuse of public resources.
"Position and rank do not exempt anyone from cooperating and participating with a law enforcement investigation, and we will continue to hold accountable any public official who thinks the rules do not apply to them," the district attorney added. "I thank our prosecutors for their diligent and thorough investigation into this matter, and to DOI for their critical assistance and partnership."
Per Bragg's announcement, the DOI began investigating then-Mayor de Blasio's alleged misuse of his security detail in 2019 and, from the start, Redmond ignored and refused to comply with multiple requests to turn over certain documents, emails, and text messages.
As that investigation proceeded into 2021, Redmond attempted to delete emails and text messages from both City Hall-issued and NYPD-issued phones that he was ordered to turn over, though the effort at subterfuge failed as investigators were able to retrieve the purportedly deleted data from the devices.
"Former Inspector Redmond deliberately obstructed an active DOI investigation, ignoring repeated requests for his cell phone and then purposefully deleting critical text messages," DOI Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber said in a statement. "Today’s guilty plea and sentencing underscore his serious criminal conduct and reflect a complete disregard for his sworn oath as a police officer. The Manhattan District Attorney’s prosecution of Redmond is a powerful statement that no one is above the law."
The New York Post reported that the "disgraced" Redmond, 58, was actually quietly suspended without pay by the NYPD in July before he was eventually "dismissed" from the force on an unspecified date in relation to his plea to the charges that stemmed from a probe into allegations of misuse of public resources by former Mayor de Blasio.
That probe of the ex-mayor reportedly found that the NYPD paid out nearly $320,000 in expenses to provide security for de Blasio on his nationwide travels during his laughable attempt at launching a presidential campaign in 2019 that never actually made it to the 2020 election year.
A 2021 report on that investigation also found that the then-mayor's security detail provided "concierge service" for de Blasio's son and "occasionally" provided chauffeur services for his campaign staffers.
The Associated Press noted that the report additionally denoted how the security detail had acted as a "taxi service" for the ex-mayor's adult son and daughter, including driving the son around on random errands and helping the daughter move from one apartment to another.
The AP reported that de Blasio was previously ordered to pay $425,000 for misusing public resources during his four-month presidential campaign, including the roughly $320,000 in misspent NYPD funds for flights, food, lodging, and rental cars for his security detail.
The ex-mayor had appealed that ruling on the grounds of what he alleged were "many inconsistencies and inaccuracies" in the DOI's report, as well as his claim that Redmond and other "security experts" had made "informed decisions" about how best to protect him and his family in New York and on the campaign trail.