Showing posts with label NYC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NYC. Show all posts

January 6, 2020

Sex Abuser and Mogul Weinstein Is Going To Trial In NY





 Which one is He? I think we got two but one is going on trial now


By Daniel Arkin

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul whose alleged pattern of sexual misconduct helped power the #MeToo reckoning and rocked the entertainment industry, is scheduled to stand trial on rape charges in New York this week.
The criminal trial, expected to begin with jury selection Tuesday, comes more than two years after The New York Times and The New Yorker published investigative reports detailing several allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and rape.
In all, more than 80 women have accused the producer of sexual misconduct going back decades. Weinstein, 67, who in recent months has been spotted at New York City nightclubs, has denied all accusations of unlawful, nonconsensual sex.
The trial begins almost a month after Weinstein and the board of his bankrupt film studio, The Weinstein Company, reached a tentative $25 million settlement with dozens of women who have accused him of preying on them. The news of the settlement devastated some of his alleged victims.
In a joint statement released Friday, 25 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct — including actresses Rose McGowan and Rosanna Arquette — said: "the world will be watching as Harvey Weinstein walks into court to stand trial for a fraction of the egregious crimes he has committed."
"This trial is critical to show that predators everywhere will be held accountable and that speaking up can bring about real change," the statement said. "We refuse to be silenced and will continue to speak out until this unrepentant abuser is brought to justice."

The charges


The court case in New York focuses on felony charges that Weinstein raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on another woman in 2006. Weinstein, who is currently free on bail, has pleaded not guilty to those charges.
The top charge, felony predatory sexual assault, carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. He faces four counts of that charge, along with one count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape. "It's important to note that predatory sexual assault is viewed almost as seriously as murder. In the state of New York, it's one of the most serious felonies you can commit," NBC News legal analyst Danny Cevallos said.
Donna Rotunno, one of Weinstein's lawyers, said at a news conference in August that her client had been "railroaded," adding she had proof the relevant sexual activity was consensual.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who was criticized for declining to pursue criminal charges against Weinstein when he was accused of groping an Italian model in 2015, is prosecuting this case.
The trial is expected to run for roughly eight weeks, according to a spokesperson for the New York State Unified Court System.

The judge


Weinstein will be tried in the courtroom of the Honorable James Burke, a former prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office who was appointed to the bench by then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Burke has presided over various pretrial hearings and motions in the case, including a ruling denying Weinstein's bid to toss the most serious charges, derailing the ex-mogul's attempts to sharply limit the scope of the trial.

The key witness


Annabella Sciorra, an actress best known for her role in "The Sopranos," is expected to testify. Sciorra, who first shared her story with The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow, has accused Weinstein of bursting into her Manhattan apartment and raping her in the early 1990s. 
In late November, Burke ruled that while Sciorra's rape allegation was too old to support a formal charge, also known as falling outside the statute of limitations, prosecutors could use it to bolster their case that Weinstein exhibited a pattern of predatory sexual behavior.
"It's not that celebrities are any better at being witnesses than regular people are, but jurors sure are interested in what celebrities have to say," Cevallos said of Sciorra's expected testimony.

Image: Ashley Judd and Salma Hayek clap for Annabella Sciorra, center, at the 90th Academy Awards on April 3, 2018. All three actresses have spoken out about Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct.
Ashley Judd and Salma Hayek clap for Annabella Sciorra, center, at the 90th Academy Awards on April 3, 2018. All three actresses have spoken out about Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct.Lucas Jackson / Reuters file


Those watching in the courtroom will most likely include other women who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault, and potentially public figures affiliated with the Time's Up group.
"I think this trial could become a very somber parade of witnesses and victims, a global airing of many of the bad things Harvey Weinstein is accused of," Cevallos said.

The jurors


Cevallos said prospective jurors will likely be closely vetted by both the prosecution and the defense, and the selection process could take weeks as both sides try to ferret out biases and potential conflicts of interest.
"If you've been tweeting about the #MeToo movement or Weinstein, that can be looked up easily," Cevallos said, adding that both sides in the case will likely question prospective jurors about their general views on sexual abuse and celebrity culture, among other relevant subjects.
Rotunno told Reuters the defense team will be scrutinizing potential jurors' social media posts, adding she was confident that could detect biased candidates.
"Obviously, this case has a lot more notoriety and press involved with it, but that's a concern in any case," Rotunno said. "Once 12 people are put on that bench and they realize the gravity of it, they really want to be fair." 

November 20, 2019

First Openly Gay NYer Who Should Become The First Gay Congressman in DC


                     Image result for mondaire jones


By Tim Fitzsimons


When Mondaire Jones was growing up in Spring Valley, New York, the way the world worked already seemed clear to him: “People like me don’t get close to the halls of Congress,” he said. But his mother taught him he could be anything he wanted. “It was a radical idea,” Jones wrote on Medium.

After completing his studies at Stanford University and Harvard Law School and working at the Department of Justice under President Barack Obama, the world looks different from the 32-year-old. Jones is now a candidate for New York’s 17th Congressional District, and if elected, he could be the first openly gay black man elected to Congress. (The other potential first, fellow New York Democrat Ritchie Torres, would also be elected in 2020.)


The way he tells his life story to voters, as seen in a recent campaign advertisement, draws from his background as the son of a family that fled the South to escape the persecution of Jim Crow — and links that to the Trump administration's response to the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Jones opens with a story about his grandfather walking to school in segregated Virginia, as white students rode by in a school bus that only they were permitted to ride. "And they would spit on him through the school bus windows as he was walking a dirt path on his way to school," Jones says in the ad over images of a child drawing.

"For me, the policy is personal," Jones told NBC News.

'We cannot be compromising on values'

While working for the Obama Justice Department, Jones said that part of his job was vetting candidates for federal judgeships. “These were folks who would have had no problem saying on the record during the Senate confirmation hearing that they agree with the decision in Brown v Board,” Jones said, referring to the recurring issue of Trump-nominated judges declining to take a public position on the landmark desegregation case.

“I was part of the administration in the early years when we were having an extremely tough time getting judges confirmed by the Senate,” he said. “That’s because, respectfully, we were not fighting hard enough." 

Gay lawmaker says his congressional run against 'homophobe' is personal
Jones lamented that it took continuous GOP obstruction of judicial nominees before Democrats changed the rules of the Senate so that judges could be confirmed by a majority vote.

“I think that should have been done at the very beginning of the administration when it was clear that Republicans were not going to engage in reasonable behavior," Jones added. “I think there was this naïveté, not felt by myself, but certainly naïveté among certain decision-makers early on in the Obama presidency,” Jones said.

He said his experiences in Washington showed him that Obama’s middle-of-the-road, bipartisan approach won’t cut it in the face of GOP intransigence. “The Republican Party of today is very different from the Republican Party of even a decade ago,” Jones said. “And certainly it is different from what it was three decades ago when my member of Congress first took office.” 
 
For Jones, that means that the way he wants to fight for his political goals puts him more in line with his progressive neighbor, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fellow Democrat, than Nita Lowey, the incumbent Democrat in NY-17 who was first elected in 1988.

“I’m part of a generation that stands to inherit a planet that's devastated by climate catastrophe,” Jones said. “For me, there's no alternative to a Green New Deal, we have to be fighting for a thing that will make our planet inhabitable for ourselves and our children and their children.”

“In broad strokes, my generation recognizes that in 2021, when I hope to take office, we need to bring an energy to the role of Congress member and president of the United States that is that of a fire,” he added. “Someone who is going to fight tooth and nail for the things we say we believe in as the Democratic Party.”

'Struggling with my self-acceptance'

“I’m proud to be part of a movement of young people, including young people of color and young queer people and young women,” Jones said. But he added that coming out as gay was "hard."

Jones never imagined he could run for office, in part, he said, “because it would mean that I had to be my authentic self.”

“Not only had I not yet come to terms with that aspect of myself, but I certainly doubted that other people would be accepting of it,” he said. “But so much has changed over the past decade, and even over the past five years.” 

Rep. Maloney introduces a bill to ban taxpayer funding of 'conversion therapy'
Jones ended up coming out when he was 24 years old. Now, people come up to him and thank him for running as an openly gay candidate.

“Growing up — struggling with my self-acceptance — if I had been able to look to an example like what I would provide, someone who is a respectable individual, an openly gay black man in Congress, life would have been a lot better for me," Jones said.

The race and the district

After he announced his candidacy in a June Medium post, the race for NY-17 became a contest among Jones and Lowey, NARAL Pro-Choice America leader Allison Fine, Assemblymember David Buchwald, state Sen. David Carlucci and former Department of Defense official Evelyn Farkas. The primary takes place on June 23, 2020, but for a district like this, the winner of the Democratic primary is likely to win the general election.

And as of last month, it’s a primary race that is wide open after Lowey announced she would not be seeking re-election.

“I have tremendous respect for her and her legacy,” Jones said of Lowey, “and frankly she has made it easier for women and minorities like myself to run for office because she's been such a trailblazer.”

New York’s 17th Congressional District straddles the lower Hudson River and contains all of Rockland County and part of Westchester County. Its neighboring district to the north, NY-18, is represented by out gay Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, another Democrat.

Mondaire Jones’ district is a historically wealthy, former Republican stronghold. But since Lowey was first elected in 1988, the district has swung sharply to the left.

“We had a 13-4 Democratic majority on the county board of legislators and now it’s a 15-2 Democratic majority,” he said of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the county-level government. “We have an overwhelmingly Democratic voter registration advantage and we have a Democratic county executive.”  

With statistics like that, Jones can tout that he is a "true progressive" and “the only candidate in this race not accepting corporate PAC money” and still hope to pull off a win.

He said he’s focused on local issues, like undoing the $10,000 cap imposed on the state and local tax deduction, a tax change that impacted residents of high-tax states like New York that Jones said “crushed families in Westchester and Rockland.”

And if Jones were to win, southern New York’s congressional districts could transform into a progressive bloc represented by some of the most diverse members in the country. Just several miles away is Ocasio-Cortez’s NY-14 District. And Ritchie Torres, a current New York City Council member who is also gay and black, is running to replace Jose Serrano in NY-15. Both Torres and Jones would be the first black gay men elected to Congress if they were to prevail Nov. 3, 2020.


June 8, 2019

NYC Police Commissioner Apologizes For The Actions of Police in 1969 Outside a Gay Bar




Crowds near the Stonewall Inn several days after the raid on June 29, 1969.
Credit
Larry Morris/The New York Time

By Michael Gold and Derek M. Norma (New York Times)




The commissioner, James O’Neill, said he was sorry on behalf of the New York Police Department for officers’ actions during a seminal 1969 clash outside a gay bar.


The violent police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969 is widely regarded as a seminal event in the gay rights movement. But police officials had long refused to admit that officers’ behavior and the raid itself were not justified, leaving a rift between law enforcement and gay-rights supporters that seemed to deepen distrust over the years.

On Thursday, as people around the world began commemorating the 50th anniversary of the clash, New York’s police commissioner took a step toward making amends, issuing an unusual official apology on behalf of the Police Department for the actions of officers during the Stonewall uprising.

“The actions taken by the N.Y.P.D. were wrong — plain and simple,” the commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said during an event at Police Headquarters.

It was an admission that gay rights leaders said was momentous and unexpected, if overdue.

“To have the N.Y.P.D. commissioner make these very explicit remarks apologizing, it’s really moving,” said Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, who is gay and who had a day earlier called for a police apology. 
Still, some cautioned the Police Department that its future actions needed to back up its words.

“The history of police violence and criminalization of L.G.B.T.Q. people sadly continues to this day,” said Richard Saenz, an attorney at Lambda Legal, a national civil rights organization.

Politicians and gay rights leaders had stepped up their calls for Mr. O’Neill to apologize in recent months, urging a public reckoning as New York hosts World Pride, a global gathering that is taking place in the city this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.

During a safety briefing related to World Pride at Police Headquarters, the commissioner offered the formal apology that Police Department officials, including Mr. O’Neill himself, had said for years was unnecessary.

“I think it would be irresponsible to go through World Pride month, not to speak of the events at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969,” Mr. O’Neill said. “I do know what happened should not have happened.” 
“The actions and the laws were discriminatory and oppressive, and for that, I apologize,” he added.
The auditorium erupted in applause.
New York’s police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, apologized on Thursday on behalf of the Police Department for officers’ actions during the Stonewall rebellion. 

The Stonewall uprising began shortly after midnight on June 28, 1969, when officers with the now-defunct Public Morals Squad raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.

The police said they had arrived to disperse the bar’s patrons because the Stonewall Inn had violated liquor laws. Eight officers and an inspector arrived at the club and ordered about 200 people to line up and show their identification. Some were asked to submit to anatomical inspections.

The officers’ behavior that night would quickly become a stain on the department and an electrifying force for the L.G.B.T. movement.

“They came to the bar. They slammed people against the wall. They shoved people, and they hurled insults that you can probably imagine,” said Mark Segal, 68, who participated in the protests that night.    

Stonewall patrons, fed up with longstanding harassment at the hands of law enforcement, pushed back.

As officers conducted the raid, a crowd gathered outside, shouting “gay power.” Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who were forced out of the bar that night taunted the police. Some threw bottles and stones.

The ensuing clash lasted for about an hour, but days of street protests followed, resulting in arrests, injuries, and property damage.
Celebrations followed a rebellion that lasted for several days.
Credit
Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images 
Celebrations followed a rebellion that lasted for several days.CreditFred W. McDarrah/Getty Images
Mr. O’Neill’s comments signaled a remarkable moment in the city’s history, a long-awaited acknowledgment of the Police Department’s role in harassing gays in past decades.

In the 1960s, it was common for the police to raid gay bars, arrest cross-dressers and harass customers, often on the pretext of cracking down on prostitution or other organized crime activities. 

Over time, the department’s attitudes toward L.G.B.T. people have shifted, but anti-gay attitudes remained rampant in the police force for decades after the Stonewall uprising. In 1978, the president of the city’s largest police union said in an op-ed in The New York Times that having gay police officers was an “unworkable” idea.

As social attitudes and norms changed, so did the Police Department. In a watershed moment in 1982, Sgt. Charles H. Cochrane started the first Gay Officers Action League chapter, an association of gay police officers.

The department now boasts of hundreds of L.G.B.T. officers in its ranks, and since 1996, gay police officers have marched in uniform in New York City’s pride parade — an event that started to commemorate the uprising at Stonewall.

In his remarks on Thursday, Mr. O’Neill proclaimed that times had drastically changed since the raid.

“I vow to the L.G.B.T.Q. community that this would never happen in the N.Y.P.D. in 2019,” Mr. O’Neill said. “We have, and we do, embrace all New Yorkers.”

The Police Department had resisted calls for an apology in the past. In 2016, at a news conference discussing security for that year’s Pride March, William J. Bratton, the commissioner at the time, said he did not believe an apology was necessary.

The following year, a day after the Pride March, Mr. O’Neill also declined to apologize. “I think that’s been addressed already,” he said. “We’re moving forward.” 

Still, allegations of bias have persisted in the department.

“A lot more action has to be done to undo the history of discrimination and current N.Y.P.D. practices,” said Tina Luongo, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society.

In 2017, an internal watchdog found that the city’s police officers still lacked proper training in how to interact with L.G.B.T. victims and complainants.

A lawsuit filed in January by a transgender woman accused police officers of ridiculing her during her arrest and charging her with incorrectly filling out her gender on an official form.

Mr. Saenz said that transgender people, especially transgender women of color, were particularly vulnerable to police misconduct.

A national survey of nearly 28,000 transgender Americans conducted in 2015 found that 58 percent of respondents had experienced some form of mistreatment by police.

Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement that she believed those police officers in New York continued to harass and abuse transgender people.

“The N.Y.P.D. must commit itself to the true change in practices and policies necessary to address the crisis of violence facing transgender people,” she said. 

Even so, she thanked Mr. O’Neill for his apology.

At the Stonewall Inn, now a national monument, dozens of people were present on Thursday paying homage to the history that had taken place there.

Stacy Lentz, 49, a co-owner of the Stonewall Inn since 2006, called Mr. O’Neill’s remarks a strong first step toward improving relationships between the police and the L.G.B.T. community.

“For the police commissioner to apologize like that — it’s just incredible,” Ms. Lentz said.

But she said there was room for improvement.

“The battle that was started here is not over,” she added. “But today was about visibility, and visibility saves lives.”

Ali Watkins contributed reporting.

December 28, 2018

9pm, Suddenly Parts of NYC Turned Unnatural Blue, People Thought It was A UFO or The 2d Coming




An explosion at a Con Edison substation caused the New York sky to turn blue. Social media users from across the city posted videos of the eerie light, with some fearing an alien invasion.There was a boom; then a hum. The lights flickered. A giant plume of smoke filled the New York City sky around 9:12 p.m., and turned it blue.

The New York Times

 “A sort of unnatural, fluorescent shade of blue,” said Bill San Antonio, 28, who was watching Thursday night from inside a terminal at La Guardia Airport.

“We thought it was a U.F.O.,” said Yiota Androtsakis, a longtime Astoria resident.

Ms. Androtsakis was not the only one. In the earliest moments, hundreds of Twitter users from across the city posted videos of the eerie lights, causing many on social media to fear an alien invasion.
By late Thursday night officials said the event was caused by nothing more than a transformer explosion.


 “No injuries, no fire, no evidence of extraterrestrial activity,” the New York Police Department tweeted, adding later that the explosion was not suspicious. There was one Con Edison employee nearby when the fire started, and the authorities said he was unharmed.

Still, Deputy Inspector Osvaldo Nuñez, the commanding officer of the 114th Precinct, conceded that the episode “was spectacular.”

“You could see it from the precinct, and the precinct is about a half-mile away,” he said. “You felt it in your chest, the explosions, and the night sky turned an electric blue.”
All the excitement caused plenty of problems. Inspector Nuñez said the bright lights and loud bangs caused a surge of 911 calls, with residents reporting explosions and one person calling in a plane crash.

The power went down briefly at La Guardia Airport, forcing a ground stop and causing delays. And the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a tweet that No. 7 train service had been disrupted by the power failures. 

Even the Rikers Island prison complex, which houses about 10,000 inmates, lost power for about 25 minutes, according to a woman who answered the phone at the North Infirmary Command.

“There’s been confusion pretty much from the start,” said Mr. San Antonio, who was waiting to board a flight to Dallas when the power went out at La Guardia. After the power came back on, he got a text message. His flight had been canceled.

Philip O’Brien, a spokesman for Con Edison, at the site of the explosion in Astoria, Queens. La Guardia Airport was briefly shut down when the power went out there.
In a statement on Twitter, Con Edison said there had been “a brief electrical fire” at one of its substations in Astoria, “which involved some electrical transformers and caused a transmission dip in the area.” Mayor Bill de Blasio said the blue light was caused by an electrical surge at the substation.

On Twitter, utility officials apologized to dozens of alarmed customers, saying they were “aware of this situation.” Although power failures were reported in parts of Jackson Heights, the utility said late Thursday that “all power lines serving the area are in service and the system is stable.”
Nonetheless, residents on Thursday night were shaken. Ms. Androtsakis said she heard the “weird noise” even through closed windows; after it ceased, she said, she could still hear it in her ears.

The lights were so bright, she added, that in some places an otherwise dark night was as bright as day.

“It was scary,” said Ms. Androtsakis’s neighbor, Mickey, who declined to give his last name. “It was like something from outer space like we were invaded.” 

Closer to the power plant, Peter Dipietrantonio said he and his girlfriend heard a bang and then saw a “green aura” fill his window. Moments later, he said, he saw people rushing away on the street.

“Once we saw people running, we decided to get out,” he said. His girlfriend, Dana Jefferson, stood on the street, carrying the duffel bag she had quickly packed. “She was ready to go,” he said.

December 12, 2018

In A Gay Hate Crime A 20 Yr Old Young Lady Was Pushed From Behind Causing Broken Spine


The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in ascertaining the whereabouts of an unidentified male
The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in ascertaining the whereabouts of an unidentified male who fled the train and the subway system at the Forest Hills 71 Avenue station in the Queens borough of New York.NYPD
By Tim Fitzsimons

A 20-year-old woman was hospitalized and suffered a broken spine after being attacked in the subway by a man using anti-gay slurs, according to the New York City Police Department. 
“The unidentified male used a slur based upon his interpretation of the victim's sexual orientation,” the NYPD said in an emailed statement to NBC News. “As the victim walked away from the unidentified male, he approached from behind, punched the victim in the back of her head and shoved her to the ground, causing her to strike her head.” 
Police said the man fled the scene of the Nov. 30 crime, exiting the subway system at a stop in Forest Hills, a neighborhood in the borough of Queens. The NYPD released a video clip and image of the suspect and is now seeking the public’s help in identifying him. Police described him as “black, 5'11", 220lbs, and 50-60 years old.”
The New York Daily News provided additional details about the attack, reporting that the suspect became incensed after he saw the victim kiss another woman aboard the E train in Queens, adding that he then called the victim a “dyke” before physically assaulting her.
The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident, and police are requesting that anyone with information about the identity of the attacker call 1-800-577-8477, visit nypdcrimestoppers.com or tweet at @NYPDTips. 
This latest incident comes just weeks after a Queens man was charged with several hate crimes after allegedly beating two gay men unconscious in Brooklyn. The suspect, Brandon McNamara, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Hate crimes against LGBTQ people in the U.S. continued to rise in 2017, jumping 3 percent from the year prior, according to hate crimes data released by the FBI last month. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people make up more than 16 percent of all hate crime victims, according to the FBI’s report, despite comprising an estimated 4.5 percent of the general population.

NBCNews

November 19, 2018

Di Blasio Fires Police Investigations Chief (He Got Weinstein) Over Abuse of Power


                               Image result for Chief Mark Peters,

 
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday took the extraordinary step of firing his embattled investigations commissioner, Mark G. Peters, the culmination of a fierce rivalry between the two powerful men.
It was a rare and consequential action by a mayor to remove an investigations commissioner: The position is understood to come with a large degree of independence that allows impartial scrutiny of all areas of government, including the executive branch.
But the relationship between Mr. Peters and the mayor had severely deteriorated over time, and the last straw was an independent investigator’s report that found that Mr. Peters had abused his powerand mistreated underlings, and said that he was “cavalier with the truth.”
Mr. de Blasio will name Margaret Garnett, the state’s executive deputy attorney general for criminal justice and a former federal prosecutor, to replace Mr. Peters at the Department of Investigation. Her appointment must be approved by the City Council.
Mr. Peters had produced numerous investigative reports that exposed significant failings in city agencies that were highly embarrassing to Mr. de Blasio, including lapses in performing lead paint inspections at the New York City Housing Authority, and the lifting of deed restrictions on a Lower East Side nursing home that permitted its sale to a developer of luxury condominiums.
Mr. de Blasio on Friday said those investigations did not influence his decision.
“D.O.I. is meant to be critical of city agencies,” Mr. de Blasio said at a news conference, before delineating the “mistakes and abuses of power” detailed in the independent report on Mr. Peters. “The D.O.I. commissioner is supposed to be the most pristine of all.”
Mr. de Blasio said that he was not influenced by any continuing investigations. Mr. Peters had begun an investigation into whether City Hall sought to influence a review of the educational quality at some Jewish religious schools.
He also said, however, that he regretted hiring Mr. Peters in the first place.
Mr. Peters said in a brief statement that he would issue a fuller written response to his firing in coming days. He said that under his direction the department “exposed corruption and misconduct and forced serious systematic reforms in multiple agencies.”
But in an email to his staff sent about two hours after he was fired, Mr. Peters suggested that the mayor fired him to prevent him from carrying out investigations.
He wrote that he did not want his staff to take the firing as a defeat, “but rather as proof that the excellent work you do makes a difference — indeed, so much of a difference that “it appears the mayor felt compelled to act.”
The City Charter says the mayor has the power to remove the investigation commissioner, as long as he gives an accounting of his reasons for the firing and allows the commissioner “an opportunity of making a public explanation.”
The mayor prepared a one-page written statement that cited the independent investigator’s conclusions, including that Mr. Peters had conducted himself “in a manner indicating a lack of concern for following the law,” had made “deliberately misleading statements” in testimony before the City Council, and had engaged in “intimidating and abusive behavior.”
Margaret GarnettCreditNYC Mayor’s Office
Image
Margaret GarnettCreditNYC Mayor’s Office


It said Mr. Peters’s removal would take effect after three business days, a period ending Wednesday that is apparently intended to allow time for Mr. Peters to make the public explanation mentioned in the City Charter.
Mr. Peters fell far and hard. A longtime friend of the mayor, he served as the treasurer for Mr. de Blasio’s 2013 mayoral campaign. When Mr. de Blasio appointed him as the commissioner of the Department of Investigation, the choice was greeted with skepticism, with critics asking whether someone so close to the mayor would be independent enough to pursue investigations into the administration.
Mr. Peters ultimately quieted those critics with a series of hard-nosed reports, such as the exposure of failings at the housing authority and a recent report highly critical of the Police Department’s sex crimes unit.
Mr. de Blasio often took issue with the findings and defended agency heads who came under Mr. Peters’s scrutiny.
But Mr. Peters finally overreached: Earlier this year, he staged a takeover of an independent office that conducts investigations of the school system. When the head of the office, Anastasia C. Coleman, resisted the takeover, Mr. Peters fired her.
She then filed a whistle-blower complaint, which led to the appointment of an independent investigator: James G. McGovern, a former federal prosecutor.
Mr. de Blasio had considered firing Mr. Peters at the time but decided against it; city officials seemed leery of the possible backlash over firing an investigator who had taken a critical look at the mayor’s governance.
The McGovern report, which was completed in early October, finally gave the mayor the impetus and evidence to force Mr. Peters out.
The City Council was a strong ally of Mr. Peters in his clashes with the mayor’s office, especially under the current Council speaker, Corey Johnson. But the whistle-blower report undermined that support, including the allegations that Mr. Peters had misled the Council.
Mr. Johnson provided a statement on Friday that credited Mr. Peters for exposing “significant issues” at the housing authority and in other agencies, but said “the McGovern report raised questions about his ability to continue in his role.”
But the chairman of the Council’s committee on oversight and investigations, Ritchie Torres, praised Mr. Peters for his independence, adding that he “strongly disagreed” with the firing.
Mr. de Blasio, in a statement released after the dismissal, thanked Mr. Peters for his service but saved his praise for Ms. Garnett.
“Margaret has spent decades protecting the public’s interest, prosecuting criminals both inside and outside of government,” he said.


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