Queens District Legal professional Melinda Katz dodged questions Monday about The Submit’s bombshell report revealing she used her safety element to assist her run errands — as prime New York Republicans referred to as for an investigation into the potential misuse of taxpayer funds.
As a Submit reporter shouted questions, the borough’s prime prosecutor stored her head down, walked straight into her Forest Hills dwelling and didn’t flip again after getting dropped off by her element simply earlier than 5 p.m.
It’s not clear the place Katz, 56, was getting back from, however she was in denims and sneakers and carrying her personal baggage.
The Submit reported Sunday that Katz used NYPD detectives assigned to her safety element to ferry her and her belongings to and from a million-dollar dwelling she not too long ago bought after promoting her earlier residence in February.
Gerald Kassar, the chairman of New York’s Conservative social gathering, mentioned The Submit’s reporting warrants an investigation from metropolis officers.
“That is an inappropriate use of the NYPD. We’ve seen this misuse of police safety far too usually. It has to cease,” Kassar mentioned Monday.
“The NYPD’s inspector common ought to take a look at utilizing police manpower to assist DA Katz transfer. It’s simply not proper.”
On Tuesday morning, Katz was noticed loading 4 containers of belongings right into a black Ford Expedition that two plainclothes NYPD cops then drove to her new digs a little bit over a mile away.
It was certainly one of 4 journeys The Submit witnessed Katz make together with her safety element between her outdated and new houses that morning. Later within the week, plainclothes cops have been noticed carrying numerous gadgets from one of many houses and to the SUV.
Sources aware of Katz’s routine mentioned that members of her safety element additionally had been hauling flat-screen TVs, groceries and dry cleansing round for her, in addition to loading her sons’ bicycles and sports activities gear into an official SUV, driving the household away and returning a number of hours later.
On Sunday, her workplace defended her use of the element, saying it was a part of the job.
Nick Langworthy, the chair of the New York State Republican Committee, roasted Katz, accusing the DA of appearing like she’s above the regulation.
“Whaddya know, one other Democrat prosecutor who doesn’t consider within the rule of regulation,” Langworthy instructed The Submit.
“As an alternative of abusing her taxpayer-funded element for private errands, she ought to be spending her time and assets making an attempt to get her Democrat Occasion’s crime disaster underneath management.”
Joe Murray, a lawyer and former police officer who unsuccessfully ran towards Katz for Queens DA in 2019, additionally criticized the prosecutor.
“One of many issues the workplace of the Queens District Legal professional is meant to do is examine fraud and abuses of energy of presidency officers, to not interact in fraud and abuses of energy,” mentioned Murray.
“Melinda Katz belongs in a gaggle of elitist profession politicians who consider that public service means the ‘public ought to serve us.’”
Katz’s strikes are paying homage to former Mayor Invoice de Blasio’s documented misuse of his safety group. A damning metropolis Division of Investigation probe discovered that de Blasio used the Govt Safety Unit to carry out “errands” for him and his household — together with serving to his daughter transfer and chauffeuring his son.
Such probes come up after confidential complaints are filed with the DOI or the Conflicts of Curiosity Board. It wasn’t clear by late Monday if any complaints had been made about Katz or if the businesses have been investigating. The DOI declined to remark.
Councilwoman Gale Brewer, the chair of the Metropolis Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations, instructed The Submit Katz’s misuse of her element doesn’t seem like systemic and due to this fact doesn’t warrant Council hearings.
“I’ve to give attention to schooling, cash; housing, federal cash; I might undergo an extended record of issues that I’m centered on… Placards is one other problem,” Brewer mentioned.
“I would like large matters to give attention to,” she continued. “[That’s] my scenario for this committee, I’ve waited years to attempt to take care of these points that by no means appear to go away and are ongoing.”
A regulation enforcement supply steered at the very least one main investigation is certain to come back: a Katz-ordered probe on whether or not anybody in her workplace leaked to The Submit.
“She can be stunned to see what number of don’t like her,” the supply mentioned.
“Most individuals who work for her are completely happy she was uncovered.”
Extra reporting by Haley Brown and Tina Moore