Former New York cop Frank Serpico is probably one of the most famous whistleblowers in U.S. history. Now 85, he recently received a medal of honor 50 years after testifying to corruption in the NYPD. But there have been others who stepped forward.
New York Police Department detective Scott Munro, Jr., was initially demoted for claiming that Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) was corrupt. He contended that IAB head Joseph Reznick protected crooked detectives who generated unnecessary overtime doing fake sting operations on colleagues. Munro was subsequently accused of assault and was demoted.
Now reinstated, Munro sent a letter asking former cop Mayor Eric Adams to launch an investigation and hear evidence that Munro gathered that incriminates the IAB detective Lt. John Dandola. Munro says this can clear many detectives “who may have had their careers senselessly ruined.”
Munro filed a lawsuit in 2021 that accused IAB’s Integrity Testing Unit (ITU), known as Group 52, of conducting undercover tests designed to ensnare crooked cops and then manipulating the results. This all came to light in 2016 when the head detective Dandola ordered the destruction of tapes from the botched investigation of an innocent cop. Dandola and another Group 52 officer were transferred to separate precincts.
Dandola returned to the IAB one year later as head of the Investigations Unit in the Chief of Detectives thanks to the approval by former Group 52 Commanding Officer and IAB head Reznick. Once there, Munro alleges Dandola actively pursued Munro and coordinated his arrest on assault charges in 2019 despite the alleged crime taking place outside of NYC jurisdiction, encouraging a fellow service member to press charges. Dandola apparently continued to provide false information regarding Munro, which resulted in demotion. When it came to light that Dandola’s information was not accurate, no one disciplined him for his actions.
Eventually, Munro pled guilty to a lesser charge and was reinstated to his former rank. He then filed complaints about being targeted by Group 52 and the IAB, which routed to the officers Reznek, Dandola and others he accused of corruption. These officers then essentially conspired to investigate themselves.
Reznick had since retired when it came to light that he was simultaneously receiving his regular pay as deputy commissioner (which they were not officially approved to get) as well as hefty pension payments since 2016. The newly installed Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell’s administration had already asked him to take retirement as part of an effort to clean house.
There is no news on whether the mayor or police commissioner will pursue Munro’s 2021 request, but there has been no punishment to Reznick or Dandola.