The head of the watchdog agency that polices NYPD-on-civilian misconduct has quit, the New York City mayor’s office said on Friday.
Mina Malik, executive director of the Civilian Complaint Review Board since February 2015, will be replaced temporarily by the board’s chief prosecutor, Jonathan Darche, the mayor’s office said.
Before joining the board’s staff, Darche was a criminal prosecutor in Queens and was a staff member in Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office. His law degree is from the City University of New York School of Law.
The board, an independent agency established in the early 1990s despite police-union protests, probes allegations separately from the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau. The board has been able to prosecute in-house disciplinary cases since 2012. Last year, the board got 4,469 complaints, finished 2,178 investigations and substantiated at least one allegation in 531, or 24 percent, of those matters.
In a written statement sent by spokesman Austin Finan, Mayor Bill de Blasio called Malik’s tenure at the board “distinguished.”
“Ms. Malik has made it her duty to work tirelessly to ensure that the people of New York City had an advocate who listened and investigated any complaints they had against the NYPD. She committed herself to bolstering the public’s confidence in both the NYPD and the City of New York,” he said.
In May, she wrote in the board’s annual report that it “had not lived up to its full potential for 22 years.”
Malik is headed to Harvard University, where she’ll lecture and advise the school’s Fair Punishment Project, according to de Blasio’s office.
“I want to thank the Mayor for his support and commitment to civilian oversight and for his leadership on reform,” she said in a statement issued by de Blasio’s office. She could not be independently reached.
Malik was instrumental in ousting the former board chairman, Richard Emery. In April, Emery, a longtime civil rights lawyer, resigned after he was accused of using an offensive term for female anatomy in Malik’s presence. She dropped her complaint after he quit. Emery has said he didn’t use the term in an offensive context but was disappointed about the reluctance to punish abusive cops.
Reached late Friday, Emery called Malik’s resignation “a great day for the agency.”
Darche also couldn’t be reached.