NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4211
SPONSOR: Camara (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the New York city charter, in relation
to establishing an independent inspector general for the city of New
York police department
PURPOSE: To establish an independent inspector general for the New
York Police Department.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:.
Section 1 Establishes that the commissioner of investigations shall be
appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council. Requires the
commissioner to obtain a security clearance.
Section 2 Requires the commissioner of investigations to produce an
annual report that will be available to the public.
Section 3 Extends authority of the commissioner and each inspector
general to compel witnesses to give affirmations or affidavits.
Section 4 Authorizes the commissioner of investigations to appoint an
inspector general for each agency, including the police department.
Requires the police inspector general to obtain a security clearance.
EFFECTS OF THE PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: None.
JUSTIFICATION: In 1873 the Legislature established the Office of
Commissioner of Accounts in response to the corruption of the Boss Tweed
and Tammany Hall era. Today the New York City Department of Investi-
gations investigates fraud, corruption, and unethical activities. The
Commissioner of the Department of Investigations also approves and over-
sees the inspectors general for every city agency. The Commissioner has
oversight over every agency inspector general with the exception of the
New York Police Department. Currently, police department has a chief of
internal affairs who receives complaints but reports to the commissioner
of the police department, not the independent commissioner of investi-
In recent years a growing pattern of behavior has emerged from the New
York police Department that inhibits public accountability and transpar-
ency. We are witness to an increase in abuses whether by individual
officers or in broader policies such as stop and frisk, the treatment of
the Occupy Wall Street protesters, and the wholesale surveillance of the
Muslim community in New York City and other jurisdictions. On numerous
occasions the public has been given misinformation or misled by the
The bill seeks to restore public confidence in the New York Police
Department. The people and the police department will be better served
by a department that is more transparent and accountable. This legis-
lation establishes an independent inspector general for the New York
Police Department to achieve that goal.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 02/15/2012 referred to cities
FISCAL IMPLICATION: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
February 1, 2013
Introduced by M. of A. CAMARA, STEVENSON, JACOBS, ESPINAL, CRESPO, GOTT-
FRIED, WRIGHT, CASTRO, ROBERTS, ROSENTHAL, ROBINSON -- Multi-Sponsored
by -- M. of A. CLARK, GIBSON -- read once and referred to the Commit-
tee on Cities
AN ACT to amend the New York city charter, in relation to establishing
an independent inspector general for the city of New York police
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 801 of the New York city charter, as amended by
2 local law number 59 of the city of New York for the year 1996, is
3 amended to read as follows:
4 § 801. Department; commissioner. There shall be a department of inves-
5 tigation the head of which shall be the commissioner of investigation.
6 The commissioner shall be appointed by the mayor and by and with the
7 advice and consent of the city council. The commissioner shall be a
8 member of the bar of the state of New York in good standing [and], shall
9 have had at least five years of law enforcement experience and shall be
10 subject to a security clearance investigation by a state or federal
11 agency authorized to perform such investigations. The mayor may remove
12 the commissioner upon filing in the office of the commissioner of city-
13 wide administrative services and serving upon the commissioner of inves-
14 tigation the reasons therefor and allowing such officer an opportunity
15 of making a public explanation.
16 § 2. Subdivision e of section 803 of the New York city charter, as
17 added by local law number 79 of the city of New York for the year 1990,
18 is amended to read as follows:
19 e. The commissioner shall forward to the council and to the mayor a
20 copy of all reports and standards prepared by the corruption prevention
21 and management review bureau, upon issuance by the commissioner. The
22 commissioner shall produce an annual report no later than April thirti-
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 4211 2
1 eth of each year. Such report shall be made available to the public upon
2 request and at a reasonable cost.
3 § 3. Subdivision a of section 805 of the New York city charter is
4 amended to read as follows:
5 a. For the purpose of ascertaining facts in connection with any study
6 or investigation authorized by this chapter, the commissioner, each
7 inspector general, and each deputy shall have full power to compel the
8 attendance of witnesses, to administer oaths, affirmations, or affida-
9 vits and to examine such persons as he or she may deem necessary.
10 § 4. Section 807 of the New York city charter, as added by a vote of
11 the people of the city of New York at the general election held in
12 November of 1975, is amended to read as follows:
13 § 807. Inspectors general of agencies. [No person shall be appointed
14 as an inspector general of a city agency unless such appointment is
15 approved by the commissioner of investigation] The commissioner shall
16 appoint an inspector general for each city agency, including the police
17 department. Such inspector general shall be subject to a security clear-
18 ance investigation by a state or federal agency authorized to perform
19 such investigations. The commissioner of investigation shall promulgate
20 standards of conduct and shall monitor and evaluate the activities of
21 inspectors general in the agencies to assure uniformity of activity by
23 § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.