Councilman says NYC can't oversee police spy unit

AP News
|
Posted: Oct 07, 2011 3:31 AM
Councilman says NYC can't oversee police spy unit

A top New York City councilman says nobody in city government has the expertise and authority to oversee the police department's secret intelligence operations.

The comments by Peter Vallone raise questions about what checks exist on a department that has infiltrated mosques and subjected entire Muslim neighborhoods to surveillance and scrutiny.

Vallone, who is chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said the council doesn't have authority to subpoena the NYPD for its intelligence records. And even if it did, he said the operations are too sophisticated for city officials to effectively oversee. He says more oversight is likely needed, perhaps from Washington.

If the council cannot oversee the intelligence division, it's unclear who can. Congress and Obama administration officials say they, too, have no authority to monitor day-to-day intelligence operations.