Council Approves Investigations Commissioner Amid Skepticism

By Kristina Skorbach, Epoch Times
February 4, 2014 Updated: February 4, 2014

NEW YORK—About a dozen council members decided on the future of the city’s investigations, crime, and corruption department as they voted on the new commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI).

Mayor Bill de Blasio submitted Mark Peters’s name for the role earlier in January.

The committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections, chaired by Council member Brad Lander, approved Peters for the position at City Hall Tuesday.

Peters is a partner at the Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP law firm. Prior to that, he was the special deputy superintendent in charge at the New York Liquidation Bureau, an agency that manages bankrupt insurance companies on behalf of the state. He was also the chief public corruption prosecutor for the New York attorney general.

Peters was also the treasurer for Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, although that title was not disclosed on his résumé.

The committee unanimously voiced their “Aye” in favor of the new commissioner; however, Council members Inez Dickens and Williams expressed doubts.

“I am nervous about your closeness to the mayor,” Dickens said to the new commissioner.

The committee questioned Peters during last week’s council hearing to find out if there was a conflict of interest—which could compromise a possible future investigation of the mayor’s office.

Council member Williams, who sat to the right of Dickens, said he was concerned about Peters’s relationship to the mayor.

“It’s always hard to find someone who you have no connection with,” Williams said, noting that someone who is as over experienced as Peters, develops many relationships over the years.

Williams was also concerned about Peters’s answer to a question about appointing the first ever NYPD inspector general, which he said would be done in conjunction with the mayor.

Council member Daniel Garodnick, who had the same concern, said during the stated meeting that the decision to appoint the inspector general should be the commissioner’s alone.

“The mayor has the privilege to choose the DOI commissioner, and the privilege to choose the NYPD commissioner, he should not also have the opportunity to choose the inspector general,” he said.

Peters will also appoint specialized inspector generals within the department, forward all reports by the Corruption Prevention and Management Review Bureau to the mayor, and the council.

He will conduct investigations directed by the mayor, the council, and the Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB).

Peters will be earning a yearly salary of $205,180, according to council documents.