NEW YORK (AP/FOX5NY.COM) - Mayor Bill de Blasio has fired New York City's chief watchdog, citing an independent report that accused him of "deliberately misleading statements" and abusive behavior.
Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters said Friday he'll respond in writing before his firing takes effect in three business days.
Peters says serving as commissioner of the department that investigates city agencies and departments has been the greatest professional honor of his life.
The commissioner is appointed by the mayor but operates independently.
Last month's report by a former federal prosecutor says Peters made misleading statements to the City Council and engaged in "intimidating and abusive behavior."
Peters' firing comes after months of conflict with de Blasio.
The Democrat has nominated Margaret Garnett from the state attorney general's office to replace Peters.
Statement from DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters
Earlier today I was informed that the Mayor has fired me as DOI Commissioner. Per the City Charter, I have until next Wednesday to respond and I will do so in writing. For now, let me say that serving as DOI Commissioner has been the greatest professional honor of my life. DOI's work over the past five years has exposed corruption and misconduct and forced serious systematic reforms in multiple agencies.
The staff at DOI are among the most talented in law enforcement and it has been an honor to work with them. I expect that despite my departure they will continue the multiple investigations regarding misconduct now pending in the agency without fear or favor."
Statement from City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
As Investigations Commissioner, Mark Peters exposed significant issues at NYCHA, the Administration for Children's Services and the mayor's Office for Contract Services, and I thank him for his service. However, the McGovern report raised questions about his ability to continue in his role. The Council will engage in an advise and consent process per our charter mandated responsibility."
Statement from Attorney General-Elect and Public Advocate Letitia James
Today's firing of Department of Investigation's (DOI) Commissioner Mark Peters is reminiscent of Trump-like behavior. The McGovern report, while raising concerns, did not call for the firing of Mark Peters. It is my understanding that there are several pending DOI investigations that are particularly troublesome. As such, I am calling on the City Council to conduct an Executive Session with Mark Peters so that he can testify about the status of his pending cases, their impacts on the de Blasio Administration, and what role they may have played in Mark Peters' dismissal."