Trooper on Cuomo’s security team ordered to transfer after affair with Gov’s daughter

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ALBANY – A report from the New York State Inspector General (OIG) has brought to light that a state  trooper assigned to then-Governor Andrew Cuomo’s security detail was romantically involved with one of the governor’s daughters.  The trooper was ordered to put in for a transfer as soon as Cuomo learned of the affair.

Cuomo has three daughters.  Twins Cara and Mariah were born in 1995 and daughter Michaela was born in 1997.

The New York State Police PBA responded to the report on Friday afternoon, calling it a “power-grab” by Inspector General Lucy Lang.  That Mid-Hudson News story can be found here.

According to the report, State Trooper Duane Pfeiffer, a member of the Protective Service Unit (PSU) which protects the governor and family was ordered to report to State Police Division Headquarters on May 22, 2020 – one day after Cuomo’s daughter informed her father of the romantic relationship with Pfeiffer. After being compelled to an interrogation, Pfeiffer was ordered to request a transfer to a command outside of the capital region.  The commander of the PSU was informed of the affair by the secretary to the governor in a phone call.

Pfeiffer was interviewed by the PSU Commanding Officer and an investigator with the New York State Police Professional Standards Bureau when he arrived.  During the interview, he admitted to having a two-month-long romantic relationship with Cuomo’s daughter.

A decision was made by the first deputy superintendent of the State Police, Kevin Bruen, now superintendent responsible for internal discipline, that Pfeiffer would not face formal disciplinary proceedings, but could no longer serve on the governor’s protective detail, and he needed to transfer to another command.  Bruen decided that one of Pfeiffer’s supervisors, who was also interviewed and admitted being aware of the relationship between Pfeiffer and the governor’s daughter but did nothing, should be subject to discipline for that conduct. Within days, Pfeiffer applied for a transfer to a Troop more than two-and-a-half hours from Albany and his home and was transferred immediately.  His supervisor chose to retire.

No formal record was entered into the PSB database in the following 18 months, no complaint number was assigned, and the recordings of the two interviews were unable to be located.  Additionally, the office of the State Inspector General was not notified.

On December 6, 2021, a request by the New York State Troopers PBA on behalf of (then recently promoted) Sergeant Pfeiffer, for a copy of his May 22, 2020, compelled statement, as he was entitled to under the PBA contract.  When informed by the State Police that neither a record nor recording could be found, a grievance was filed, and the Offices of the Inspector General commenced an investigation. The OIG report says there were a “myriad procedural flaws in the investigation”.

The OIG report is very critical of the actions by the now Superintendent of the New York State Police, Kevin Bruen for failing to take appropriate disciplinary measures and lists several recommendations for better recordkeeping by the state police.

The full report can be found here.