Musical Chairs by Tom Reynolds
If you are paying attention to the various firearms related lawsuits filed against the Cuomo and Hochul administrations, you will know that last year’s big Supreme Court decision was in the case of NYSRPA versus Bruen. Bruen was Kevin Bruen, the head of the NY State Police, at that time, but no longer.
Current lawsuits are being filed against Steven Nigrelli, the current head of the NY State Police.
Oops. No longer current but now the former head of the NY State Police.
Currently, there is no head of the NY State Police as Nigrelli has resigned. Is this a clever plan of the Hochul Administration? If there is no head of the NY State Police, there is no one to file suit against for the many unconstitutional acts of her NY State government?
Why the turnover?
Kevin Bruen was confirmed by the NY Senate in June 2021. Fifteen months later (October 2022) he resigned. Apparently, the governor’s office began investigating his potential mishandling of internal workplace complaints.
The NY Times reported* that Mr. Bruen was being investigated for supposedly shielding a former director of human resources at the agency with whom he had a close working relationship from at least one internal complaint that had been lodged against her.
Mr. Bruen had a close relationship with the former human resources staffer, MaryEllen Tedesco, whom Bruen had sought to protect, according to the two officials with knowledge of the matter. Ms. Tedesco, who assisted with vetting applicants and making hiring decisions at the agency, had already resigned.
Enter Bruen’s replacement Steven Nigrelli as the Acting head of the NY State Police, starting October 2002.
Exit Steven Nigrelli on October 2023 due to his resignation.
The Times Union reported** that Nigrelli submitted his resignation after learning he would not be named the permanent leader of the agency following an investigation into allegations that he had harassed or mistreated employees, including women. The state Office of Employee Relations launched an investigation after receiving a harassment and discrimination complaint against the 32-year veteran of the State Police.
Gov. Kathy Hochul's office informed Nigrelli of her decision not to nominate Nigrelli as the permanent head of the NY State Police. That followed the investigation that substantiated some of the allegations dating back years. There was no finding of any criminal conduct.
In August 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned after a report from the New York State attorney general concluded that the governor sexually harassed nearly a dozen women, including current and former government workers, by engaging in unwanted touching and making inappropriate comments. The 165-page report also found that Mr. Cuomo and his aides unlawfully retaliated against at least one of the women for making her complaints public and fostered a toxic work environment.
Gun owners in NY State must now submit to and pay for a background check to buy ammunition. Perhaps, the same should apply to high level executives in the NY State government.
* State Police Superintendent Resigns Amid Investigation - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
** NY state police leader Steven Nigrelli resigns after harassment probe (timesunion.com)