NYPD appoints leader who has been internally disciplined

The chief of the New York Police Department on Wednesday named a chief to the agency’s highest uniformed rank despite past disciplinary charges and drawn-out litigation dating back years.

Jeffrey Maddrey has been named acting department chief, according to a law enforcement official and an internal memo obtained by The New York Times. He will replace Kenneth Corey, who retired on Tuesday.

Chief Maddrey, who will rank behind only the commissioner and first deputy commissioner, has risen through the ranks for three decades. He most recently headed the Patrol Services Bureau — the largest in the police department and the one that most directly affects the lives of New Yorkers. As a patrol leader, he was responsible for the commands of eight boroughs, which include the city’s 77 precincts.

But his appointment raises questions about the perception of a police department that has struggled to regain trust after clashes with protesters following the 2020 death of George Floyd and vigorous debate over police brutality.

Chief Maddrey is the subject of a civil case that stems from harassment allegations filed in 2016 by a former subordinate, according to Manhattan Supreme Court records. Chief Maddrey denied the allegations, and although he faced internal discipline, a federal prosecution against him was unsuccessful. He also came under fire last year for ordering the release of a retired police officer accused of using his gun to threaten children.

Still, that part of his record likely had little bearing on his nomination, said Keith Taylor, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former police department detective sergeant. Other factors, including how effectively leaders can navigate the politically charged landscape of municipal law enforcement, also come into play, he said.

“The issue of scandals and ongoing legal and civil challenges, it’s just a matter of doing business. It’s the process of the world they live in,” Taylor said.

“I imagine the commissioner’s office has already considered – strongly – the negative backlash of such appointments and has always decided that this is the best way forward,” he added.

Chief Maddrey’s troubles began in 2016, when Tabatha Foster, a former officer, initially sued him.

Ms Foster had accused Chief Maddrey, then an inspector for Brooklyn’s 75th Precinct, of making persistent sexual advances, court records show. She said that, given her position, she had no choice but to nod.

In December 2015, about four months after retiring, Ms Foster said she met Chief Maddrey in a Queens park, where he slapped, punched and pushed her to the ground, according to court records filed by her attorney, Matthew Blit. Ms Foster said she then pointed her gun at Chief Maddrey before he ripped her off and threw her in the back seat of his vehicle. Police arrived soon after and the chief ordered them to leave, records show.

Chief Maddrey was moored 45 days on vacation following the incident.

Ms. Foster’s claims were dismissed by a federal court judge in June 2019. Chief Maddrey’s attorney, Lambros Y. Lambrou, recently filed a motion to have the case dismissed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

“Having represented the chef all this time, in terms of his qualifications and abilities, I don’t know of anyone who is better suited for this position. No one should be defined by a silly situation,” Mr. Lambrou said.

“We fully expect this final chapter of this bad novel to be pushed aside,” he added. “We are optimistic that all of this will soon be in the rearview mirror.”


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