NYPD Kept $30M Destined For Cops' Pension Funds, Unions Say
NEW YORK CITY — Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has “illegally” stiffed police pension funds out of more than $30 million since he took over the Police Department, legal papers claim.
Unions representing sergeants, captains, lieutenants, police officers and detectives accused Kelly and the NYPD of “systematically” and “intentionally” keeping millions of dollars they got back from cops as a result of disciplinary actions instead of funneling it into cop pension funds as required by the city's administrative code.
The allegation is contained in a notice of claim filed Feb. 27.
An average of 18,000 days of pay are taken away from New York’s Finest every year, according to Ed Mullins, the sergeants union president.
He estimates that since Kelly took over the NYPD in 2002, the department has retained about $30 million in lost pay from cops.
Mullins said his union began to unearth the issue nearly two years ago, when it tried to regain money that was withheld from Sgt. Henry Conde, an Internal Affairs cop accused of leaking information to other cops who were under federal investigation.
Conde was convicted on non-criminal charges at departmental trial and fired, but the union believed that the NYPD had taken too much money from him than his punishment allowed.
“We were looking at the Conde case trying to recoup some of his money, and we came up with the applicable city administrative code involved in discipline and money earmarked for the pension fund,” Mullins explained.
“We did research at the fund and had our financial people look for deposits on the books. But we don’t see any of that money deposited.”
The NYPD and the city’s Law Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mullins said he has also not gotten any answers. He said he has been told that there was an amendment to the code that permitted the city to keep the money in a general pool, but he said no one has been able to provide him with a copy of the amendment or other proof that it exists.
“We have filed the claim to get this cleared up and to get clear answers,” Mullins said.
He also raised an issue over whether the police commissioner — who not only metes out discipline, but also serves as the chairman of the pension fund — had a conflict of interest.
Mullin questioned whether the commissioner can fairly rule on punishment when he also may have an interest in where the money winds up.
“These are issues that need clarity,” he said.