Advertisements
U.S News

Queens DA Katz dodges questions as GOP calls for probe into ‘misuse’ of NYPD security detail

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz dodged questions Monday about The Post’s bombshell report revealing she used her security detail to help her run errands — as top New York Republicans called for an investigation into the potential misuse of taxpayer funds.

As a Post reporter shouted questions, the borough’s top prosecutor kept her head down, walked straight into her Forest Hills home and didn’t turn back after getting dropped off by her detail just before 5 p.m.

It’s not clear where Katz, 56, was returning from, but she was in jeans and sneakers and carrying her own bags.

The Post reported Sunday that Katz used NYPD detectives assigned to her security detail to ferry her and her belongings to and from a million-dollar home she recently purchased after selling her previous residence in February.

Gerald Kassar, the chairman of New York’s Conservative party, said The Post’s reporting warrants an investigation from city officials.

“This is an inappropriate use of the NYPD. We’ve seen this misuse of police security far too often. It has to stop,” Kassar said Monday.

“The NYPD’s inspector general should look at using police manpower to help DA Katz move. It’s just not right.”

The security detail helping Katz move possessions to a new home in Queens on June 14, 2022
Kevin C. Downs for The New York Post

On Tuesday morning, Katz was spotted loading four boxes of belongings into a black Ford Expedition that two plainclothes NYPD cops then drove to her new digs a little over a mile away.

It was one of four trips The Post witnessed Katz make with her security detail between her old and new homes that morning. Later in the week, plainclothes cops were spotted carrying various items from one of the homes and to the SUV.

Sources familiar with Katz’s routine said that members of her security detail also had been hauling flat-screen TVs, groceries and dry cleaning around for her, as well as loading her sons’ bicycles and sports gear into an official SUV, driving the family away and returning several hours later.

According to sources, the security detail has also been used to transport groceries and dry cleaning for Katz.
According to sources, the security detail has also been used to transport groceries and dry cleaning for Katz.
Kevin C. Downs for The New York Post

On Sunday, her office defended her use of the detail, saying it was part of the job.

Nick Langworthy, the chair of the New York State Republican Committee, roasted Katz, accusing the DA of acting like she’s above the law.

“Whaddya know, another Democrat prosecutor who doesn’t believe in the rule of law,” Langworthy told The Post.

“Instead of abusing her taxpayer-funded detail for personal errands, she should be spending her time and resources trying to get her Democrat Party’s crime crisis under control.”  

State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy accused Katz of abusing her detail and said she doesn't "believe in the rule of law."
State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy accused Katz of abusing her detail and said she doesn’t “believe in the rule of law.”
Dennis A. Clark

Joe Murray, a lawyer and former police officer who unsuccessfully ran against Katz for Queens DA in 2019, also criticized the prosecutor.

“One of the things the office of the Queens District Attorney is supposed to do is investigate fraud and abuses of power of government officials, not to engage in fraud and abuses of power,” said Murray.

“Melinda Katz belongs in a group of elitist career politicians who believe that public service means the ‘public should serve us.’”

Katz’s moves are reminiscent of former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s documented misuse of his protection team. A damning city Department of Investigation probe found that de Blasio used the Executive Protection Unit to perform “errands” for him and his family — including helping his daughter move and chauffeuring his son.

Katz's 2019 political opponent Joe Murray claimed that Katz is engaging in "fraud and abuses of power."
Katz’s 2019 political opponent Joe Murray claimed that Katz is engaging in “fraud and abuses of power.”
BRIGITTE STELZER

Such probes arise after confidential complaints are filed with the DOI or the Conflicts of Interest Board. It wasn’t clear by late Monday if any complaints had been made about Katz or if the agencies were investigating. The DOI declined to comment.

Councilwoman Gale Brewer, the chair of the City Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations, told The Post Katz’s misuse of her detail doesn’t appear to be systemic and therefore doesn’t warrant Council hearings.

“I have to focus on education, money; housing, federal money; I could go through a long list of things that I’m focused on… Placards is another challenge,” Brewer said.

“I need big topics to focus on,” she continued. “[That’s] my situation for this committee, I’ve waited years to try to deal with these issues that never seem to go away and are ongoing.”

A law enforcement source suggested at least one major investigation is sure to come: a Katz-ordered probe on whether anyone in her office leaked to The Post.

“She would be surprised to see how many don’t like her,” the source said.

“Most people who work for her are happy she was exposed.”

Additional reporting by Haley Brown and Tina Moore

Leave a Response