New York Troopers’ Union Offices Searched by State Police Investigators
New York State Police investigators executed a search warrant on Tuesday at the Albany headquarters of a union that represents thousands of active-duty and retired troopers and has been embroiled in strife and recently experienced a leadership shake-up.
The execution of the warrant was confirmed by a State Police spokesman and by a lawyer for the union, the Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers. Both men described the move as a step in a continuing inquiry.
“We do not have additional information we can provide at this time” because the investigation is still active, William Duffy, the State Police spokesman, said.
Daniel Strollo, the general counsel for the 7,000-member union, had slightly more to say about what had prompted the search, which was conducted by the State Police’s Special Investigations Unit.
“This is part of an ongoing investigation, and we have been fully cooperating with the investigators for the last several months,” Mr. Strollo said in a statement. “The current leadership team of the P.B.A. is fully committed to the integrity of the organization, and we welcome the Special Investigations Unit’s assistance in uncovering past wrongdoing by individuals that are no longer part of the P.B.A. leadership.”
The Times-Union of Albany, which first reported on the search, noted that it had unfolded as Gov. Kathy Hochul delivered her State of the State address at the State Capitol about a block from the union’s offices.
The specific focus of the inquiry that led to the search was unclear. Nor was it clear whether the State Police investigators, who belong to a different union, were working in concert with a prosecutorial agency like the Albany County district attorney’s office or the state attorney general’s office.
The search came several months after the group’s former president, Thomas H. Mungeer, resigned from his position, which he had held since 2009.
His departure followed the abrupt resignation a few weeks earlier of the union’s previous general counsel, Richard E. Mulvaney, a former New York City police lieutenant and longtime ally of Mr. Mungeer’s.
The resignations of the two officials followed accusations of “widespread policy violations” at the P.B.A. that included “undisclosed conflicts of interest and questionable financial and hiring practices,” The Times Union reported.
According to The Times Union, friction within the union began to grow last year amid a close examination of the group’s finances by a new treasurer. A contract with a small insurance brokerage to which Mr. Mungeer and Mr. Mulvaney had undisclosed ties drew particular attention, The Times Union reported.
Reached by phone on Tuesday, a lawyer for Mr. Mungeer, Richard Corenthal, declined to comment. A lawyer for Mr. Mulvaney did not immediately respond to a call and an email seeking comment.
The Times Union reported that State Police investigators had also searched the offices of the Signal 30 Benefit Fund, a P.B.A.-related entity that has raised millions of dollars for charitable causes. Neither Mr. Duffy, the State Police spokesman, nor Mr. Strollo, the P.B.A. counsel, would confirm that. A lawyer for the fund did not respond to a request for comment.
The leadership shake-up at the union came shortly after the State Police had also experienced a change at the top.
On Oct. 7, Kevin P. Bruen, the agency’s superintendent, unexpectedly announced his resignation after Ms. Hochul’s office began investigating his potential mishandling of internal workplace complaints. The agency is being led by an acting superintendent, Steven A. Nigrelli.
The state troopers’ P.B.A. is the second police union in New York State to attract law enforcement scrutiny in recent years.
In February 2022, federal prosecutors charged Edward D. Mullins, the former president of the union representing New York City police sergeants, with wire fraud in connection with what court filings describe as a scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in union funds by submitting fraudulent expense reports. Mr. Mullins has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.