Mayor de Blasio has his own moving company — the NYPD.
Hizzoner ordered members of his troubled NYPD security detail to move his daughter out of an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, multiple sources told the Daily News.
The move happened roughly one year ago under cover of night, the sources said. Chiara de Blasio lived in the apartment at 4th Ave. and 56th St. for roughly two years, according to a source close to de Blasio’s Executive Protection Unit.
The move was an abuse of city resources, that source said.
A second source with knowledge of the move was also disgusted. “They used detectives and department vehicles on city time to move his daughter … Please.”
The NYPD cops loaded Chiara’s belongings into two unmarked Sprinter vans frequently parked at City Hall, according to the sources. First Lady Chirlane McCray personally oversaw the move, according to one source in the unit. City Hall did not deny McCray’s involvement. The items were delivered to Gracie Mansion, the sources said.
One man who lives on the first daughter’s former block and preferred to be identified only by his first name, Gabriel, recalled some of Chiara’s belongings were left on the curb after the move. He was stunned to hear cops charged with protecting de Blasio had hauled her stuff.
“That’s terrible. Why couldn’t he get a U-Haul and do it himself? You gonna use our cops?” Gabriel, 51, said.
Sources close to the EPU said they did not know why de Blasio used his security detail for the move.
“You can’t question him,” one source close to the unit said.
“It’s just part of the job. You just do it out of respect.”
Such a request would have gone through Inspector Howard Redmond, the embattled commanding officer of the unit, sources said.
A retired NYPD chief said that lines surrounding official duties often get blurred in the Executive Protection Unit. But the chief said that unless there was an emergency, the move was “strange.”
“If they were just moving her, that’s a little much,” the retired chief said.
A second resident of the block recognized a photo of Chiara.
“Somebody had told me that (it was her). I was like, no way!” Ralph, 30, said. “I remember her style and everything.”
Sources said that Detective Ray Gerola was one of the EPU officers given the sensitive assignment. Gerola did not respond to an email. A spokeswoman for de Blasio referred The News to the NYPD for comment.
The move is the latest embarrassing episode for the troubled unit charged with keeping de Blasio safe. Last week, the Daily News reported that a bullet-resistant vest belonging to a member of the unit was lost after it was worn by actor Michael K. Williams — who played Omar from “The Wire” — during an onstage appearance with de Blasio. No report was ever filed about the missing vest.
The News exclusively reported earlier this year that the security detail covered up a car crash in which de Blasio was a passenger to protect the mayor from embarrassing headlines as he pushed for Vision Zero street safety measures. A police report showed that de Blasio’s vehicle was driving the wrong way in Harlem when the crash occurred in 2015.
An assignment in the Executive Protection Unit was once considered one of the more desirable assignments in the NYPD. Cops in the detail get to travel and frequently work overtime. But a series of discrimination lawsuits against Redmond and the city by former members of the detail revealed allegations of a dysfunctional unit filled with disgruntled cops.
“There have been a number of lawsuits filed by former members of the security detail, and there have been rumors and innuendo regarding people named in those civil actions, much of it unfair and inaccurate,” said Deputy Commissioner Phil Walzak, an NYPD spokesman. “There is no information available regarding this inquiry.”
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