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NYPD Commissioner Charged With Stealing $112,733.98 from Jail Prisoner Fund

NYPD Commissioner Charged With Stealing $112,733.98
from Jail Prisoner Fund

By Matthew T. Clarke

On July 11, 2003, NYPD Deputy Po-lice Commissioner of Community Affairs Fredrick J. Patrick, 38, was arrested on federal charges that he looted close to $113,000 from the New York City Correctional Foundation, a non-profit corporation, incorporated in 1993, to improve jail conditions in New York City. Patrick has been the Foundation's Director and Treasurer since 1994. The money was used to pay for collect calls from prisoners to Patrick's home phone, including "thousands and thousands" of calls he patched through to "900" sex lines between January 1997 and December 2001, apparently listening in on the calls. Patrick admitted spending the money on phone calls, paying his MCI and NYNEX bills with Foundation checks.

The investigation is part of a probe into the diversion of $1 million in cigarette rebates from the Correction, Department to the Foundation and the Foundation's substandard record keeping. The phone calls seem to have been an obsession with Patrick and may have been his main leisure activity. 81% of the calls were on weekends and Patrick was unable to cease calling even with investigators breathing down his neck. Patrick's salary is $132,000 a year, yet when investigators searched his $930-a-month Harlem apartment, they found "not a stick of furniture, just a bed" and stacks of pornographic video tapes. In requesting a court-appointed attorney, Patrick stated that he had only $1,500 in savings and no other assets.

The Foundation's President from 1994 through 2001, former city jails and police commissioner Bernard Kerik, is in Iraq organizing a new police force for the puppet government on behalf of American occupation forces. Kerik said he knew nothing of finances, referring all questions to Patrick.

"Fredrick Patrick's conduct is especially disappointing not only because he violated his fiduciary duty as an officer of the Correctional Foundation but also because he committed the alleged misconduct while serving in high-ranking positions in four critical law-enforcement agencies," said Rose Gill Hearn, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation. Indeed, Patrick was a star in New York City law-enforcement circles, serving as Department of Corrections (DOC) Assistant Commissioner for Training from 1994 to 1995; DOC Deputy Commissioner of Programs from 1995 to 1998; Deputy Director of the Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator from 1998 to 2001, Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice from 2001 to 2002; and NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Community Affairs from 2002 to 2003. Additionally, then Mayor Giuliani appointed Patrick to the Board of Correction in 2001 and he was Adjunct Professor of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College.

The Foundation funded programs for prisoners, including violence reduction; vocational training, and victim awareness programs. It also funded programs for guards, including staff recognition, security assessments, security audits, security risk group threat analysis, and operational reviews. It spent $109,577 in 2002 while only taking in $19,174 in revenue.

The Foundation's financial statements show that it was rapidly headed toward insolvency. Buoyed by about three-quarters of a million dollars in tobacco rebate infusions from fiscal year 1997 through 1999, spending skyrocketed. However, by fiscal year 2000, gifts were a mere $3,210 and interest on the remaining tobacco principal was $12,470. Thus, in fiscal year 2001-2002, spending exceeded revenue by better than five to one and the tobacco principal shrank from $321,574 to $229,795. This trend would have bled the assets dry by the end of fiscal year 2004.

Sources: New York Post;; New York Daily News; New York City Department of Investigation Press Release; U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Press Release;; Correction Foundation IRS Form 990 for FY 2001.

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