FBI Raid SBA Headquarters in Lower Manhattan, Long Island Home of NYPD Union President
23:07 GMT 05.10.2021 (Updated: 02:27 GMT 06.10.2021)
Sgt. Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), joined the city's force in 1982, and became a sergeant in 1993. Since 2002, Mullins has led the union and has collected salaries from both the SBA and the NYPD.
On Tuesday, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided the SBA office headquarters in Lower Manhattan, as well as the Long Island home of the union's outspoken, pro-Trump leader Ed Mullins.
FBI spokesperson Martin Feely confirmed to reporters that federal agents were "carrying out a law enforcement action in connection with an ongoing investigation."
Agents toting boxes and a black garbage bag were seen emerging from the SBA office. Boxes retrieved from the Lower Manhattan headquarters appeared to contain items including a hard drive and other electronic equipment.
Hours after the raids, the SBA's Executive Board released a statement detailing that Mullins has resigned from his position
Despite Mullins' claim of innocence in the criminal investigation, "the day to day functioning and the important business of the SBA cannot be distracted by the existence of this investigation," according to the board.
The SBA represents between 11,000 and 13,000 active and retired NYPD sergeants, and manages some $264 million in retirement funds.
Mullins, who previously headed the SBA while remaining an active-duty police sergeant, faces internal charges related to social media posts, including a tweet that publicly released the unredacted arrest record of Chiara de Blasio, the daughter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, amid last year's protests related to the killing of George Floyd.
"How can the NYPD protect the city of NY from rioting anarchist when the Mayors [sic] object throwing daughter is one of them. Now we know why he is forbidding Mounted Units to be mobilized and keeping the NYPD from doing their jobs" Mullins tweeted via the SBANYPD account, along with the record in question.
The file included personal information of the mayor's daughter, including her home address, date of birth and driver's license number.
"Chiara de Blasio’s personal information is not a matter of public concern," NYPD prosecutor Sam Yee told a judge last month.
Andrew Quinn, Mullins' attorney, argued that the image posted by the SBA president "wasn't confidential because it was already on the internet" via a tweet by a Daily Mail reporter.
"Ed Mullins is being scapegoated and targeted for being an outspoken critic of the department and of the mayor," Quinn suggested.
Mullins is also facing two additional charges for offensive language. In one post, he referred to NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot as a "b***h," and in another tweet called Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY), the first openly gay, Afro-Latino member of Congress, a "first-class whore."
Torres appeared to celebrate the raid on Mullins office on Tuesday.
"I’ve long felt there’s nothing benevolent about Ed Mullins of the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association,” Torres told The New York Daily News on Tuesday
. “We’ve long known he’s morally corrupt. But maybe he’s legally corrupt too. He has no business in the NYPD ... He should have been fired a long time ago."
Though the trial launched last month, it was postponed after Tony Coles, an attorney retained by Mullins, suffered a medical emergency and was transported to an area hospital. Coles was accompanied by members of the SBA when he arrived at the medical facility.