A formerly high-ranking New York City police officer from Long Island who was in charge of handling workplace harassment complaints has been fired after the department said investigators determined he anonymously posted racist rants online.
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, suspended without pay for 30 days, and filed for retirement last month shortly before he was fired.
“The NYPD carried out a thorough investigation of this matter,” the department said in a statement. “His misconduct was so egregious and so contradicted the values of this department that ultimate accountability was essential.”
An NYPD administrative judge found Kobel guilty of lying to investigators, impeding the investigation, and posting the racist remarks, among other charges, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
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 TheTimes, were later detailed in a City Council investigative report in November.
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.
“White supremacist infiltration is a problem that cannot be solved by the firing of one person,” Torres tweeted. “There needs to be an actual policy of monitoring and filtering out extremism from the ranks of law enforcement.”