This week, the top official at New York City’s Department of Investigation (DOI) announced that she would be stepping down to take a position with the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.
The timing of the move is interesting, as the New York Post notes that it comes in the wake of the release of a damning report by her office highlighting alleged wrongdoings by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).
NYC official resigns
According to the Post, Margaret Garnett headed the department for three years before making news of her departure public on Wednesday.
Less than a week earlier, the DOI had tabled a report that accused de Blasio of having improperly used members of his New York City Police Department (NYPD) security team.
The report stated that the mayor had directed NYPD officers to chauffeur his son, Dante, on personal errands, rather than engage in legitimate security work.
A personal “concierge service”
The Post quoted Garnett as complaining at a press conference on Oct. 7 that the security detail had been made to function as “a concierge service.”
“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,” she told reporters.
“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 or will be a drag to have police officers take him there or be with them, he’s entirely unprotected,” she added.
“Do something about it”
That the mayor would be so quick to take advantage of police security is curious given his recent support for anti-police movements. Axios reported last year that Bill de Blasio had expressed pride that his daughter had been arrested at a Black Lives Matter protest.
“I’m proud of her that she cares so much and she was willing to go out there and do something about it,” the mayor said at the time.
In addition to using police resources for personal tasks, the DOI report also outlined how Mayor de Blasio employed them for political purposes.
It claimed that some $319,794 were spent on having officers accompany the mayor during his brief foray into the Democratic Party’s presidential primary race.