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Lack of emails documenting decision to oust pioneering female NYPD chief is ‘exceedingly suspicious,’ judge says

Stephen Rex Brown
New York Daily News
February 23, 2021

The New York Daily News reported on a discovery hearing in which Judge Loretta Preska admonished defendants for their "exceedingly suspicious" lack of document production to plaintiff Joanne Jaffe, represented by John Moscow.

A Manhattan federal judge said Tuesday it is “exceedingly suspicious” that there are minimal emails discussing the decision to force the NYPD’s first female three-star chief into retirement.

Joanne Jaffe, who oversaw the Housing bureau, sued in July 2019, claiming she was the victim of discrimination because she was older, white and a woman. Her retirement, along with three other high-ranking cops, was revealed in a 2018 press release announcing promotions during an effort to diversify the predominantly white upper ranks of the department, she says.

City attorney Donna Canfield said a search of emails among NYPD leadership, City Hall and First Lady Chirlane McCray’s office found “not a lot” of documents regarding the decision.

Judge Loretta Preska wasn’t buying it.

“You are straining credulity. It is not possible that such a coordinated change happened without emails. So don’t insult my intelligence and don’t tell there were no emails,” Preska said.

“Do you think I am stupid?” she asked. “Either you haven’t looked in the right place or something is wrong. It is not possible that all those four people left the service on the same day without some kind of preparation. It cannot be ... The fact there are so few communications is exceedingly suspicious.”

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