News, Culture & Society

Mayor Bill de Blasio had NYPD security detail drive son Dante 75 miles to and from Yale University

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio allegedly repeatedly ordered his police security detail to drive his son Dante to and from Yale University when he was a freshman.  

Executive Protection Unit detectives escorted Dante back and forth between New York City and New Haven, Connecticut, seven or eight times during his first year at the Ivy League – even though the mayor’s son didn’t face any security risks at the time, insiders told the New York Daily News.

Former members of the security detail described the 75-mile trips as ‘a courtesy’ that was not questioned within the NYPD.  

‘There was no justification,’ one former member said. ‘If you were told to bring him home from Yale, that’s what we did.’

Another said: ‘If the commanding officer of the 75 (precinct) said: “Move my kid to college,” do you really think that wouldn’t kill his career? But because it’s the mayor, everyone just does it.’ 

Each trip typically required two detectives – one driver and one bodyguard – sources said, and the mayor and First Lady Chirlane McCray tagged along on a few occasions.  

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio allegedly repeatedly ordered his police security detail to drive his son Dante to and from Yale University when he was a freshman. Dante, now 22, is seen at his May graduation with father de Blasio and mother Chirlane McCray

By Dante’s second year, sources said, he got accustomed to taking the train instead of making detectives drive him 150 miles round-trip.  

However, he often had the security detail pick him up from Penn Station when he arrived in the city.  

Marshall Bellovin, an attorney representing former members of the security detail who are suing over alleged discrimination within the EPU, confirmed that detectives had been assigned to the Yale trips but refused to comment further.  

De Blasio spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said: ‘The Mayor and his family follow all ethics rules. The mayor’s children are guaranteed NYPD protection, just like the children of prior mayors.’

The mayor has previously defended his use of the security detail by saying that NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill makes those decisions. 

NYPD spokeswoman Devora Kaye told the Daily News: ‘We do not discuss security matters regarding the protection of the mayor, his family, or other elected officials.’ 

Executive Protection Unit detectives escorted Dante back and forth between New York City and New Haven, Connecticut, seven or eight times during his first year at the Ivy League - even though the mayor's son didn't face any security risks at the time, sources said. Dante is seen holding up a Yale sweatshirt as he announced he would be attending Yale in 2015

Executive Protection Unit detectives escorted Dante back and forth between New York City and New Haven, Connecticut, seven or eight times during his first year at the Ivy League – even though the mayor’s son didn’t face any security risks at the time, sources said. Dante is seen holding up a Yale sweatshirt as he announced he would be attending Yale in 2015

NYC’s Department of Investigation is reportedly looking into de Blasio’s use of his NYPD detail for his children, multiple sources close to the unit told Daily News.  

However, those sources indicated that the investigation didn’t appear to be very serious and expressed suspicion that the probe’s main goal was to interrogate officers about who is leaking information to Daily News and other outlets.   

‘DOI is aware of the matter and declines further comment,’ a DOI spokeswoman said. 

Other members of the de Blasio administration have gotten heat for misusing city vehicles in the past.  

Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte was forced to resign in 2017 after the DOI discovered he had been using his official vehicle for regular trips to his home state of Maine.   

Betsy Gotbaum, executive director of government reform Citizens Union, said Dante’s Yale trips were arguably more problematic than Ponte’s because Ponte actually worked for the city.  

‘It is sloppy. It’s a bad use of a wonderful privilege elected officials are afforded,’ Gotbaum said. 

Mike Palladino, head of the Detectives Endowment Association, joked: ‘If it’s true, I’m glad [Dante] didn’t get held back because the taxpayers would have gone broke.’

By his second year, sources said, Dante got accustomed to taking the train to New Haven instead of making detectives drive him 150 miles round-trip

By his second year, sources said, Dante got accustomed to taking the train to New Haven instead of making detectives drive him 150 miles round-trip

Dante graduated from Yale in May and has said he is considering following his father into politics after having played a role in the elder de Blasio’s political career for years. 

At 15 years old, Dante starred in a 2013 campaign ad that helped his father win the mayoral election. 

This summer, Dante joined the mayor’s now-shuttered presidential campaign as a policy analyst making $650 per week. 

His rate was only $175 less than that of the campaign’s South Carolina political director, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures reported by the New York Post.

During the campaign, Dante figured into de Blasio’s biggest moment in the debates, when the candidate crowed that he was the only one in the packed field with a black son — a remark that sent perplexed voters outside of New York scrambling to Google his family story.

De Blasio has two children with his wife Chirlane McCray, who is black, and who until meeting the politician in 1991 was a proud and outspoken lesbian. 

Soon after the first Democratic debate, Dante penned an op-ed for USA Today, describing how his father gave him ‘the talk’ about how to act around police officers as a young black man.     

The elder de Blasio, who is New York City’s mayor, raised just $333,000 for the quarter before pulling the plug on his campaign on September 20. 

Dante graduated from Yale in May and has said he is considering following his father into politics after having played a role in the elder de Blasio's political career for years. In July, Dante joined the mayor's failed presidential campaign as a policy analyst making $650 a week

Dante graduated from Yale in May and has said he is considering following his father into politics after having played a role in the elder de Blasio’s political career for years. In July, Dante joined the mayor’s failed presidential campaign as a policy analyst making $650 a week

The Yale trip revelation joins a substantial list of questionable moves by EPU detectives tasked with protecting de Blasio. 

The unit is currently facing discrimination lawsuits from six members who say leadership favors white, young cops for top assignments and promotions.   

Earlier this year, EPU was criticized amid reports that members of the security detail had helped de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, move out of an apartment in Brooklyn and into the mayoral residence at Gracie Mansion last year.  

In April, the security detail was accused of covering up a 2015 car crash in which de Blasio was a passenger to protect the mayor from embarrassing media coverage while he pushed for his Vision Zero street safety measures.  

According to a police report obtained by the Daily News, the vehicle de Blasio in was driving the wrong way down a street in Harlem when the crash took place.  

In July, a bulletproof vest belonging to an EPU official went missing after The Wire actor Michael K Williams wore it during a campaign event with de Blasio.   

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



Find local lawyers and law firms at USAttorneys.com