A formerly high-ranking New York City police officer from Long Island who was accused of anonymously posting racist rants online has retired after reportedly being suspended for 30 days without pay.
Deputy inspector James Francis Kobel, a 30-year veteran who was serving as commanding officer of the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) within the department’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, was previously transferred to the transit bureau while subject of an internal investigation.
“Deputy Inspector Kobel is entitled to due process as is anyone,” said Det. Sophia Mason, an NYPD spokeswoman who confirmed that he retired. “These allegations will go through the disciplinary process. We will not comment while these proceedings are ongoing.”
WNBC-TV New York reported that Kobel was suspended shortly before he retired. He was initially placed on modified duty amid an ongoing internal affairs probe. The allegations, which were first reported by The New York Times, were later detailed in a City Council investigative report in November. The Times reported Monday that the NYPD has concluded Kobel was behind the posts.
Kobel allegedly used the pseudonym “Clouseau” to post more than 500 times on the board, known as “Law Enforcement Rant,” between July of last year and September of this year. Among the many examples, he allegedly described Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark as a “gap-tooth wildebeest” and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, also of the Bronx, as a “savage.” Kobel also allegedly said two women on the police force were “gutter sl*ts” and “f**king animals” and “savages.”
U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx), who led the city council probe before being elected to Congress, said the probe shouldn’t stop with Kobel.
“James Kobel, who should have been fired back in November, is the tip of the iceberg, Torres tweeted. “There are untold numbers of officers lurking on these online message boards, trafficking in the vilest forms of bigotry.”