Two Senior Officials Leave New York City Government – Wall Street Journal

Elizabeth Glazer, director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, is a longtime adviser to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Photo: Bess Adler for The Wall Street Journal

Two architects of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s criminal-justice approach resigned, the latest high-profile officials to leave government as the city has struggled with the coronavirus pandemic.

Elizabeth Glazer announced her resignation as director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice in an email to staff early Wednesday. New York Police Department Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo, who was appointed to the role in January, put in his resignation papers late Tuesday.

Mr. de Blasio said Wednesday that Chief Pichardo told him he had made a “personal decision” to leave. Chief Pichardo met with the mayor to discuss the chief missing calls and messages from Mr. de Blasio recently, officials said. But the mayor said that didn’t prompt Chief Pichardo’s resignation.

“There was one thing I needed to talk through with him where I think there was some miscommunication, but he and I have talked dozens and dozens of times and had no problem communicating and working through things,” Mr. de Blasio said. “It is unusual, obviously—someone who had a very bright future ahead, but he’s making a decision for family reasons.”

Chief Pichardo declined to comment.

Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo is the first Dominican-American to reach his high-ranking position in the police department.

Photo: STEPHANIE KEITH for The Wall Street Journal

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a television interview that he and others had tried unsuccessfully to persuade Chief Pichardo to stay. The patrol chief’s last day will be in November, according to officials.

Chief Pichardo, 43 years old, is the first Dominican-American to reach his high-ranking position in the NYPD, and he often appeared at public events with Messrs. Shea and de Blasio.

Police officials said that Chief Pichardo offered his resignation after being summoned to City Hall for questioning by Mr. de Blasio after missing calls from the mayor while working overtime in the field.

Chief Pichardo met again with Mr. de Blasio on Tuesday after submitting his retirement request, according to the officials. Mr. de Blasio asked the patrol chief to remain at his post, the officials said, but Chief Pichardo refused.

Ms. Glazer is expected to remain on the job until the end of October, according to officials at the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. Ms. Glazer declined to comment.

A longtime adviser to Mr. de Blasio, she created some of the nation’s most aggressive criminal-justice overhauls in New York City, including a plan to close the Rikers Island jail complex and replace it with four neighborhood jails.

Part of that plan was dealt a legal blow last month after a Manhattan judge nullified necessary land-use approvals to build a neighborhood jail in Chinatown in Manhattan, citing a number of issues including the city’s efforts to collect community input and address potential health concerns in the planned development.

Her departure  followed those of other high-ranking officials who recently left city posts, including Oxiris Barbot, the former health commissioner, and Allison Hirsch, who was an adviser to the mayor.

Write to Ben Chapman at Ben.Chapman@wsj.com and Katie Honan at Katie.Honan@wsj.com

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Appeared in the October 15, 2020, print edition as ‘Two Senior Officials Leaving City Posts.’