New York City’s Department of Investigation, the only agency of its kind in the U.S., has been behind some of the most sensational headlines to hit New York City over the last several years, reportws the Associated Press. It investigated Bernard Kerik, former police commissioner and Homeland Security secretary nominee. It exposed the largest tax fraud in municipal history, investigated corruption in the crane industry, and helped indict lawmakers, union bosses, and many high-ranking city officials.
A small outfit compared to the FBI and New York Police Department, the DOI’s mission is keeping 300,000 city employees at scores of agencies honest as well as city-elected officials, boards, commissions, the school system, and the housing authority. The agency was created more than a century ago after the Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall scandals that robbed taxpayers of millions of dollars and became synonymous with political corruption. Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn, 46, has headed DOI since 2002. Under her watch, the number of arrests from its investigations has more than doubled — from 317 in 2001 to 676 in 2008 — despite a 28 percent reduction in the number of investigators and auditors.