The superintendent of the New York State Police, Kevin P. Bruen, unexpectedly announced his resignation on Friday, following a recent report that the governor’s office was investigating his potential mishandling of internal workplace complaints.
Earlier this week, The Albany Times Union, citing unnamed people with knowledge of the matter, reported on allegations that Mr. Bruen had improperly shielded a former director of human resources at the agency from internal complaints lodged against her because of their close working relationship.
Gov. Kathy Hochul revealed to the newspaper on Tuesday that her office was conducting an investigation into allegations against Mr. Bruen that had first appeared in private message boards online, saying that “I’m not prepared to sit here and say I’m going to fire somebody until I have the evidence necessary.”
The Times has not independently confirmed The Times Union’s reporting.
In a statement on Friday, Ms. Hochul did not mention the circumstances of Mr. Bruen’s departure, but she thanked him for his years of public service, adding that state officials would begin conducting a search for a new leader.
“The State Police have made tremendous progress in combating gun violence and keeping New Yorkers safe, and that must continue,” said Ms. Hochul, a Democrat who is running for her first full term as governor in November.
The state police and a spokeswoman for the governor’s office declined to comment on the circumstances of Mr. Bruen’s abrupt resignation.
Before Mr. Bruen’s resignation, the Hochul administration had already been planning to replace him after her election on Nov. 8, though the reasons remained unclear, according to a state official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.
Mr. Bruen, who was appointed by former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in June 2021, will officially step down in two weeks, on Oct. 19. Steven A. Nigrelli, the first deputy superintendent, will become acting superintendent until state officials designate a permanent replacement, who must be confirmed by the State Senate.
Mr. Bruen worked for more than two decades for the state police, starting as an assistant counsel, before being appointed to lead the agency’s more than 5,000 troopers, investigators and staff members statewide.
He helped lead Ms. Hochul’s efforts to combat gun violence in New York, joining her at news conferences to highlight the state’s efforts to tackle illegal gun trafficking and get so-called ghost guns off the streets. In the wake of the mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket in May, Ms. Hochul ordered the state police to ramp up its enforcement of the state’s red flag laws, an initiative that Mr. Bruen supported.
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