The leader of the the New York Police Department’s Sergeants Benevolent Association resigned Tuesday after federal agents raided the organization’s Manhattan headquarters to execute a search warrant in an investigation.
The agents had also searched Port Washington home of the controversial union president, Ed Mullins.
The SBA Executive Board said in a statement, “Given the severity of this matter and the uncertainty of its outcome, the SBA Executive board has requested that President Mullins resign... The day to day functioning and the important business of the SBA cannot be distracted by the existence of this investigation.”
The raid into the Worth Street office of the SBA, the city’s second-largest police union, with more than 10,000 active and retired sergeants, was “in connection with an ongoing investigation,” an FBI spokesperson told The Daily Beast.
“All I have been told is the FBI has raided the SBA headquarters and it’s in connection with an ongoing investigation,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his morning COVID-19 briefing. “I don’t know the specifics, I don’t know who it’s directed at. I want to really hear the details before I comment further.”
Neither Mullins nor the union’s lawyer, Andrew Quinn, immediately responded to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.
The details of the investigation are unclear, but no arrests have been reported from the Tuesday morning incident. According to The New York Times, the SBA’s headquarters were searched as part of an investigation by the public corruption unit in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI.
The raid is also the latest controversy to surround Mullins, who is known for fiercely criticizing NYPD leadership and de Blasio. Last year, the SBA made headlines after tweeting out de Blasio’s daughter’s arrest report after she was arrested during last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests.
“How can the NYPD protect the city of NY from rioting anarchist when the Mayors 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,” the SBA said in a tweet, according to the New York Post.
Mullins is now facing an internal NYPD trial on misconduct charges related to the tweet and other social media posts—including one tweet where he called the city health commissioner a “bitch” with “blood on her hands” after a standoff over N95 face masks.
The SBA has also been openly vocal about its political leanings. During the last election, the union endorsed President Donald Trump, stating that the election was the “choice between world views that will have a very direct impact on police across the nation.” The union also praised Trump for supporting police officers “at a time when many other segments of society are abandoning or openly attacking us,” Mullins said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Manhattan Republican Party Chair Andrea Catsimatidis alleged the SBA Trump endorsement had a hand to play on Tuesday’s raid—even though the FBI has not said when the investigation into the union began or offered any details about the probe itself.
“The FBI raided the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association’s office this morning,” Catsimatidis tweeted. “SBA President Ed Mullins stood up for former President Trump and now they are coming for him. The left is sending a message to silence and squash all political opposition—fall in line or suffer.”
De Blasio on Tuesday declined to comment further on the raid, adding that he did not have any details, but did use the opportunity to comment about how Mullins has long been “really destructive” to the New York community.
“Especially in the middle of a crisis where we’re trying to unify, we’re trying to get people through together, he’s been a divisive voice,” de Blasio added.