POLITICO: City investigators subpoena alleged leaker of Pantaleo records
MONDAY, JULY 03, 2017

Tina Luongo speaks to POLITICO about reports that the NYC Department of Investigations subpoenaed the CCRB whistleblower who disclosed Daniel Pantaleo’s NYPD disciplinary record – the officer responsible for Eric Garner’s death.




POLITICO
City investigators subpoena alleged leaker of Pantaleo records
By Conor Skelding
June 30, 2017

City investigators have subpoenaed a former city employee who is suspected of leaking the confidential disciplinary records of Daniel Pantaleo, a police officer who put Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold on Staten Island in 2014.

Department of Investigation personnel served the former Civilian Complaint Review Board investigator on Thursday evening at his apartment in Brooklyn, according to a person with knowledge of the subpoena.

In late March, the website ThinkProgress published confidential documents showing that Pantaleo had numerous prior, substantiated misconduct complaints. The site, which is run by the liberal Center for American Progress, reported that the documents had been provided by an "anonymous source who said they worked at the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board."

Garner's death, captured on video, caused months of protests in New York, shutting down bridges and highways, and became a rallying cry for a national movement that sought to address police violence.

The leaked CCRB document showed that Pantaleo's punishment for the four substantiated complaints of abuse amounted to the loss of two vacation days and retraining. (The document also listed 14 other charges, labeled either unsubstantiated or open.) Pantaleo has been on modified duty since 2014 as a federal investigation continues, nearly three years after Garner's death.

The suspected leaker was pressured to resign the day after the site published the records.

Police Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch said at the time that DOI and the Manhattan DA should investigate the leak.

"The release of a police officer’s confidential personnel records is a crime that should be thoroughly investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," he wrote in a letter dated March 24.

The subpoena, described to POLITICO New York by a source, instructed the suspected leaker to appear at a DOI office in Lower Mahattan on July 14. The subpoena states that if he fails to appear, DOI will seek a warrant for his arrest. It is signed by Lesley Brovner, first deputy commissioner.

DOI conducts both civil and criminal investigations, and can refer cases to city agencies or prosecutors. It also conducts investigations at the direction of the mayor, City Council, and city Conflicts of Interest Board. It's unclear what sort of investigation the subpoena relates to.

Until last year, the city released summary information of disciplinary action against officers. That process was halted by the de Blasio administration after officials said it was in violation of state law. De Blasio has said he would prefer that information be made public, but has cited the state statute as preventing its release.

The day after the Pantaleo records were published, Police Commissioner O'Neill said the department was investigating the source of the "illegal" leak, and CCRB quickly announced the suspected leaker's exit. The following week, Think Progress published the misconduct records of Richard Haste, the police officer who fatally shot Ramarley Graham in 2012, saying they had been provided by a "former employee" of the CCRB.

Tina Luongo, an attorney at Legal Aid, who sued the city to release Pantaleo's disciplinary record, said it is "disappointing and concerning that DOI is going after a whistleblower when the police officer who actually killed Eric Garner is still on the payroll.”



This article originally appeared on Politico.