Former NYC Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins, an outspoken magnet for controversy who resigned last year amid an ongoing federal investigation that led to raids on his home and the union’s Manhattan headquarters, is expected to face federal criminal charges Wednesday, multiple police sources said.
The nature and timing of the charges was not immediately clear. The FBI confirmed that Mullins was in custody as of mid-morning Wednesday.
Mullins filed for retirement last October and resigned as head of the union after the FBI raid. The NYPD had placed him on modified duty and taken his gun and badge away from him.
Federal agents search Ed Mullins home in Port Washington. Jonathan Dienst reports.
The FBI’s early October raid was part of a criminal probe being conducted by the bureau and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
“The nature and scope of this criminal investigation has yet to be determined. However, it is clear that President Mullins is apparently the target of the federal investigation,” a message from the SBA Executive Board to members at the time read. The board went on to say that Mullins had resigned as union president.
In the letter to members, the SBA said it would cooperate with the investigation.
“Like all of us, Ed Mullins is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and we ask you to withhold judgment until all the facts have been established,” the letter from the SBA executive board read. “However, the day-to-day functioning and the important business of the SBA cannot be distracted by the existence of this investigation.”
The SBA represents 13,000 current and former members of the NYPD, according to its website, and controls a $264 million retirement fund; it describes itself as the fifth-largest police union in America.
The raids came shortly after the start of an NYPD internal trial on a variety of administrative charges against Mullins, including for an episode where he tweeted an arrest record for the mayor’s daughter.
He was subsequently found guilty and docked 70 vacation days.
Mullins, a police officer since 1982, rose to sergeant, a rank above detective but below captain and lieutenant, in 1993 and was elected president of the sergeants union in 2002. Under Mullins’ leadership, the union fought for better pay — with resulting contracts in pay increases of 40% — and staked a prominent position in the anti-reform movement.
But he also courted controversy with his brash remarks on television and social media, leading to a very public war of words with then-major Bill de Blasio. He also gave a television interview with a cup referencing the QAnon conspiracy theory on his desk from him, prompting questions about whether he supported the fringe movement.
Though he was a full-time union chief, city law allowed Mullins to retain his sergeant’s position and collect salaries from both the union and the police department. In 2020, Mullins made more than $220,000 between the two, according to public records: $88,757 from the union and $133,195 from the NYPD.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism