By STEVE BITTENBENDER
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – New York State Police Superintendent Kevin Bruen resigned on Friday, just days after Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul revealed her staff was investigating several allegations against him.
Mr. Bruen, on the force for more than 20 years, had been appointed by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He was confirmed by the state Senate on June 7, 2021. He started with the State Police as an assistant counsel after working as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn and Warren County.
On Tuesday, while talking with the Albany Times Union’s editorial board, Gov. Hochul said that Mr. Bruen was under review. Among the complaints levied against him, the newspaper reported, was that he protected a personnel department official after receiving internal complaints about her.
While the State Police has an internal affairs division, Gov. Hochul told the editorial board that having an outside investigation into the matter was more prudent since it involved the superintendent.
“This is an individual I inherited,” she told the board. “I will gather all the facts, and I will make a determination.
“I’m not prepared to sit here and say I’m going to fire somebody until I have the evidence necessary. I’ve heard of allegations. I think everybody’s owed the investigation, which is ongoing at this time.”
Gov. Hochul took over for Cuomo in August 2021 and is running against a Long Island Republican, U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, for a full term in next month’s election. She issued a statement saying she accepted the resignation and thanked Mr. Bruen for his work as a state trooper.
“First Deputy Superintendent Steven Nigrelli will serve as acting superintendent on an interim basis, as we conduct a thorough search for a superintendent who can lead this department in its important work,” the governor said. “The State Police have made tremendous progress in combating gun violence and keeping New Yorkers safe, and that must continue.”
Deputy Nigrelli has been with the force for 32 years. According to his bio on the State Police website, he is the second in command on the force and is responsible for trooper deployment. He also oversees discipline and serves as a liaison to Gov. Hochul’s office and other state agencies.