Wall Street Journal

Upd. March 31, 2016 8:14 p.m.

Head of NYPD Watchdog Resigns

Richard Emery, head of the organization that handles civilian complaints against the New York Police Department, is subject of civil lawsuit


Richard Emery in July 2014, when he was appointed chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board.  

The chairman of the agency that investigates civilian complaints against the New York Police Department resigned Wednesday, hours after it emerged that he is the subject of a civil lawsuit filed by the agency’s executive director.

Richard Emery said he decided to resign after a “lengthy substantive discussion” with Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to a statement he sent to the mayor’s office around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

“He and I agree that the confluence of recent circumstances will preclude me from further fulfilling my goals” as chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Mr. Emery wrote.

Mr. Emery, a prominent civil-rights lawyer in the city, was appointed by Mr. de Blasio and has been credited with bringing needed changes to the organization, including reducing the times it takes to review cases and holding meetings in evenings and outside of Manhattan.

“Over the past two years, the CCRB has resolved cases much more quickly and efficiently, and I am thankful to Richard and the entire CCRB staff,” Mr. de Blasio said. The mayor said CCRB board member Deborah N. Archer has agreed to serve as acting chair of the CCRB, effective immediately.

Mr. Emery’s resignation comes hours after reports that he was being sued by his executive director, Mina Malik, for allegedly retaliating against her and another female attorney by using a derogatory remark.

“We are pleased that filing this lawsuit had such a quick and positive impact,” Douglas Wigdor, Ms. Malik’s attorney, said in a statement.

Reached by phone, Mr. Emery declined to comment beyond the statement he sent to the mayor.

—Mara Gay contributed to this article.

Write to Pervaiz Shallwani at pervaiz.shallwani@wsj.com