The head of the city’s Department of Investigation is leaving her job for a role in the Southern District of New York, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday – less than a week after her agency released its condemnatory probe that found Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family incorrect used his police security details.
Margaret Garnett, whom de Blasio chose in 2018 to head the DOI, will begin serving as No. 2 next month under Damian Williams, the newly-appointed U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York.
Williams described Garnett, who served as a Southern District prosecutor for 12 years, as “legendary.”
“Margaret was a legendary assistant American lawyer. During her time in the office, she led some of the office’s most important investigations and prosecutions and supervised countless AUSAs, ”he said in a statement. “Her great career in public service leaves no doubt that she will be an extraordinary Deputy Attorney in the United States.”
Prior to the DOI, Garnett served as deputy attorney general for criminal law in the state attorney’s office, according to her bio. Prior to her time in the Department of Justice, she was associated with the law firm Watchell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
Garnett will retire from the DOI on Nov. 10, the New York Times reported.
The job change comes after her agency found out that the NYPD’s Executive Protection Unit was being used by de Blasio for “political purposes” during the mayor’s fateful presidential campaign and to run “errands” for him.
According to the probe, the team tasked with protecting the mayor, his daughter, helped move, drove his son around town and drove his brother nearly two hours to pick up a rental car in New Jersey.
She said last week that the mayor’s security details had actually served as a “concierge service” for his son, Dante de Blasio.
“In practice, what happens is that you know it is not security; it’s mainly a concierge service, primarily for Dante, ”Garnett said during a news conference after the probe’s release on October 7.
After de Blasio repeatedly moaned about the probe, Garnett replied, “I have not yet heard any identification of the alleged actual inaccuracies.”
“When you see a pattern of behavior and a culture where public resources are available for your personal benefit, it’s incredibly destabilizing for a good government, it’s not a good use of public money, and things can often snowball,” she said on NY1 last week.