|Mayor Bill De Blasio and Reverend Orlando Findlayter|
Mayor de Blasio calls a top cop after pal arrested — and then the friend is freed
Mayor de Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak confirmed that the mayor called a top police official early Tuesday morning to find out more about the arrest of Bishop Orlando Findlayter, a member of Mayor de Blasio’s transition team, who was wanted on two outstanding warrants.
By Tina Moore , Jennifer Fermino AND Bill Hutchinson / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 6:27 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 11:20 AMA church pastor with outstanding warrants — and a position on Mayor de Blasio’s inaugural committee — dodged a night in the slammer after Hizzoner made a call to one of the city’s top cops.
Bishop Orlando Findlayter, 50, was released from custody early Tuesday after de Blasio inquired about his status.
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It was not clear how many other prisoners were released without seeing a judge that night, but people with warrants are usually held until the matter is cleared up in court.
Sgt. Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said the minister should have gone to jail.
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|Bishop Orlando Findlayter is out of jail after his arrest Monday on outstanding warrants |
stemming from the clergyman's involvement in an immigration reform protest.
“We don’t let you go. You’re not supposed to let them go. It’s a court order from a judge,” he said. “We can’t circumvent that. This is not a common practice. But I get it. I realize you’re the mayor and you got all kinds of friends.”
Still, cops and de Blasio deny Findlayter got special treatment in this bizarre story that reads like “A Jail of Two Cities.”
|Pro-immigration reform activists Bishop Orlando Findlayter and Sister Susan Wilcox are led to a police |
van after being arrested in October during a protest outside the ICE Immigration Detention Center.
The mayor made the call after members of a local clergy council contacted him and the NYPD after Findlayter’s arrest.
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|Bishop Orlando Findlayter (left) was arrested Monday for outstanding warrants related to his |
immigration reform protests in October.
|The church of Bishop Orlando Findlayler, who was arrested Monday after a traffic stop, leading to |
cops discovering two outstanding warrants.
By then, it was too late to take Findlayter to Brooklyn arraignment court before it closed at 1 a.m.
Following de Blasio’s call, Royster spoke with Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lehr, commander of the 67th Precinct. She said Lehr had also been contacted by local clergy. The inspector was already at the stationhouse preparing to give the pastor a desk appearance ticket when she spoke to him, she said. Royster said Lehr told her: “‘Why have a clergyman in the command in jail overnight?’” Lehr, who has worked with Findlayter on community issues, personally released him.
“Did the mayor in any way persuade or say anything to whether or not this person would be arrested or released? Not at all,” Royster said. She added “it’s not unusual” for her to get calls from city officials about individuals taken into custody.
Findlayter, who could not be reached for comment, appeared in court Tuesday and the warrants were vacated, officials said.
With Chelsia Rose Marcius and Kerry Burke