Embattled 34th Precinct Council President Removed by NYPD, Sources Say

By Nigel Chiwaya on December 4, 2013 6:23pm 

 George Espinal has been relieved of his duties with the 34th precinct community council, sources tell DNAinfo New York.
George Espinal has been relieved of his duties with the 34th precinct community council, sources tell DNAinfo New York.
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34th Precinct Community Council/Facebook

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — George Espinal is out as the president of the 34th precinct community council, sources told DNAinfo New York.

Espinal, who has come under fire from residents and business owners in Inwood in recent months, was relieved of his duties Wednesday by officials at One Police Plaza, sources say.

Precinct commanding officer Inspector Barry Buzzetti confirmed the removal in an email to residents Wednesday evening, saying that Espinal had also been directed to stop using the council's website, Facebook page and Twitter profile.

Dyckman Street restaurant owners have called for Espinal's removal for the last two months, saying that he encouraged area residents to start a letter-writing campaign to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly against them, supposedly in retaliation for the businesses siding with Espinal's rival Manny De Los Santos in September's district leader race.

Espinal's precinct council meetings have been the source of controversy recently. The October meeting devolved into a shouting match after a council member opened with a prayer to Jesus. The precinct and community council held separate meetings on the same night in November, and the precinct has scheduled a Dec. 18 meeting even as Espinal insisted it was canceled.

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