New York Daily News

March 1, 2016, 1:14 AM



Civilian watchdog head says his law firm will stay away from agency's NYPD misconduct cases


Richard Emery, the chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board appointed by Mayor de Blasio.

The embattled Civilian Complaint Review Board head is pledging that he and his law firm will no longer feed at the police watchdog agency’s trough.

Last week, Richard Emery said police unions were "squealing like a stuck pig" over his law firm representing plaintiffs who have made CCRB complaints. Emery now says his firm will back away from any police misconduct case substantiated by the agency under his tenure.


“So long as I remain Chair of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), my Firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady (ECBA) will not represent a client who filed a claim that was substantiated by the CCRB while I was Chair,” Emery wrote in a statement sent out to members of the media Monday night.

“While I am Chair of the CCRB, my Firm will not accept a case against an officer, if I served on a Panel of the CCRB which substantiated an allegation against that officer.”

Emery received permission from the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board to keep his name on the law firm, but the board stated he must recuse himself at the agency from any matter involving any client of the firm.

Both the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the Sergeants Benevolent Association have called for his ouster.

Emery has since apologized for the “stuck pig” remark, and on Thursday he said his law firm would no longer take on clients whose CCRB cases involve Emery, but Monday’s statement goes farther than that.

Even so, PBA president Patrick Lynch was intractable Monday: “Richard Emery has revealed his blatant bias through his statements. These measures are too little, too late and do not cure what is now obvious — he can cannot be fair and impartial.”

PBA President, Pat Lynch said Emery should "resign or be fired."

Emery’s announcement comes after a Daily News exclusive report revealed that Emery’s law firm was retained by Queens resident Stefon Luckey, and an editorial on Friday urging his firm step away from all similar cases.

The CCRB substantiated Luckey’s claim that he was improperly pepper sprayed by Sgt. Jared Hospedales in May 2013. Hospedales was found guilty last November after a department trial.

Court records show that Emery’s firm has not yet withdrawn from Luckey’s case as of Monday night.

The firm has racked up more than $1 million in settlements and legal fees from suits against the city and NYPD since he assumed his position in July 2014.