Report Faults Commissioner’s Absences Amid Jail Violence

Report, Commissioner, Jail, Violence
Department of Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The head of New York City’s jail system spent 90 days out of the city last year even amid violence problems at the troubled Rikers Island jail complex, the city Department of Investigation said on Friday.

Investigators found Commissioner Joseph Ponte took his city-owned vehicle to Maine in violation of guidelines and other department officials misused their agency vehicles with trips to Cape Cod and the Hamptons.

Mayor Bill de Blasio defended Ponte, saying he simply followed advice he had been given on the use of his city car. But Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris said later Friday that the use of city-owned vehicles “has not correctly reflected the city’s vehicle use policy for many years.”