February 13, 2016, 4:00 AM
BY JOHN MARZULLI
|SUSAN WATTS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS|
|The CCRB says that Chairman Richard Emery received a "waiver" allowing his firm to represent plaintiffs in lawsuits against the city.|
The chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board says there is nothing improper about his civil rights law firm representing a Queens man suing the city and eight cops over an incident in which the agency validated the client's allegation of excessive police force.
Richard Emery did not divest from the law firm he founded and bears his name when he was appointed to head the CCRB in July 2014 by Mayor de Blasio.
Emery received “permission” from the city Conflicts of Interest Board to keep his name on the firm's shingle, and a "waiver" allowing his firm to represent plaintiffs in lawsuits against the city, a CCRB spokesman told The Daily News.
“Mr. Emery recuses himself from any matters in which the law firm represents a party associated with the CCRB,” the rep said.
Neither the Conflicts Board, nor Emery, would provide a copy of the waiver.
The presidents of the NYPD Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the Sergeants Benevolent Associations went ballistic Friday when told Emery's firm was retained this week by Stefon Luckey, who is a plaintiff in a lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal Court.
The CCRB investigated Luckey's claim that he was improperly pepper sprayed by Sgt. Jared Hospedales in a deli in May 2013, and substantiated the allegation. Hospedales was found guilty last November after a department trial.
Luckey is also suing Officer James Frascatore who CCRB found used excessive force against tennis pro James Blake in a sensational case of mistaken identity last year outside a Manhattan hotel.
“Mr. Emery's decision to accept a CCRB complainant as a client, prosecute an NYPD sergeant on behalf of that complainant at taxpayer expense, and then reap a personal financial benefit by pursuing a specious lawsuit against that sergeant, reeks of corruption and conflict of interest,” said SBA president Ed Mullins, who called for Emery's resignation.
PBA president Patrick Lynch blasted Emery for profiting from cases in which CCRB substantiated cases against cops, calling the alleged conflict “irreconcilable.”
Hospedales' lawyer Andrew Quinn said he will seek to disqualify Emery's firm from the Luckey case.
Luckey's suit was filed two years ago by a different lawyer who is now discharged.
The CCRB spokesman said he did not know how many cases Emery's law firm has against the city of New York. Emery's salary from the CCRB last year was $59,166, according to Empire Center See Through New York.