The head of the rank-and-file NYPD officers’ union said Sunday his group is launching its own investigation into a “conflict of interest” involving the leader of an agency that fields misconduct complaints against police.
Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said in a 970/AM radio interview that Richard Emery, chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, has a “proven anti-police record” and cannot perform his job impartially.
Lynch called it “absolutely disgraceful” that Emery is a partner at a law firm that represents clients suing cops investigated by the CCRB.
“He’s going to say, ‘Well, I’m not personally involved,’ ” Lynch told John Catsimatidis, host of Cats Roundtable.
“Well, he’s certainly personally involved with the money that’s going through the law firm.”
A review by the New York Daily News found Emery’s law firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff and Abady, has collected $1 million in settlements and legal fees against the city and NYPD since his July 2014 appointment to the complaint board. Emery told the paper the lawsuits were all filed before he became head of the CCRB.
Emery’s link to the firm has been approved by the city Conflicts of Interest Board, but he must recuse himself from any cases in his law firm involving the CCRB.
Lynch reiterated calls for Emery’s ouster.
Emery issued an apology Thursday to anyone “offended” by a comment aimed at police unions. Emery, appointed to the CCRB by Mayor Bill de Blasio, told the paper his firm won’t take on clients whose claims were substantiated by a CCRB panel that included him. He also has said he is considering separating his law firm profits from those earned through CCRB-related lawsuits.
Lynch said the PBA has filed a Freedom of Information Law request with the city Conflicts of Interest Board to learn what Emery is or isn’t permitted to do.
The Conflicts of Interest Board has said it cannot comment on any requests it receives for investigation.