State police investigators are investigating whether officers at Gov. Kathy Hochul’s security detail defrauded taxpayers by claiming they were on the watch when they are actually calling off their shifts, the Post has learned.
The probe is focused on members of the New York City-based governor — and the soldiers under investigation have already been removed from their post and could face disciplinary action if the allegations are confirmed, officials and law enforcement told the Post Monday.
The governor’s command includes a rotating squad of more than 40 soldiers and wardens, sources said.
The New York State Troopers’ Bureau of Internal Affairs is investigating allegations that at least some of them had their records falsified so they could still be paid when they weren’t working, sources said.
Some of the officers have been specifically accused of taking timesheets from colleagues and then simply not showing up for their shifts, sources said.
IAB investigators grilled several soldiers in Hochul’s command over the allegations last week, with more officials expected to be questioned later this week, sources say.
The rehearsers also review everyone’s timesheets, sources said.
In a statement Monday, state police spokesman William Duffy confirmed that the agency had “opened an administrative investigation into time and attendance issues involving members of the Protection Service Unit.
“Integrity is one of our core values and we thoroughly investigate all allegations of wrongdoing,” said Duffy. “If our investigation determines that our policies have been violated, the state police will take appropriate disciplinary action.”
Hochul, who was elected last year to replace disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo after taking office in 2021, will be assigned three different security details to protect her: in Albany, New York City, and when she is at her home is in Buffalo.
The sources said each of the Albany and New York City details consists of four soldiers and a supervisor when on duty, with the details drawn from the larger group.
Members of the same rotating group guard Hochul when she’s home in Buffalo, though it’s unclear how many employees this affects.
State police said they are not confirming details of security deployments or how many soldiers are assigned to each location due to security concerns.
The time clock fraud allegations surfaced earlier this month, the sources said.
Hochul spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays told The Post on Monday: “We take any allegation of wrongdoing very seriously and there must be accountability for any breach of public trust.”
Additional reporting from Zach Williams in Albany
https://nypost.com/2023/02/20/gov-hochuls-security-detail-under-investigation/ NYC Gov. Hochul’s security detail is under investigation for falsifying labor records