The presidents of the unions representing state police officers are backing incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul over sitting Attorney General Letitia James in the Democratic primary for the state’s top office.
While praising Hochul, the heads of the New York Troopers PBA and the State Police Investigators union told The Post they also took issue with how James has handled cases involving their members.
“Gov. Hochul has my backing. She has been very supportive of the state troopers,” Thomas Mungeer, president of the 4,000-member NYS Troopers PBA, told The Post.
Meanwhile, Mungeer is furious with James’ murder, manslaughter and reckless endangerment indictment of Trooper Christopher Baldner for his role in a crash that killed a Brooklyn teen in Dec. 2020.
Baldner allegedly rammed into a vehicle that had fled a traffic stop, causing it to flip over, killing 11-year-old Monica Goods, according to James office.
Baldner had pulled over the girl’s father, Tristan Goods, for speeding on the state Thruway near Kingston in Ulster County. Goods sped away and Baldner went after him and twice ramming his patrol car into the back of the family’s car, according to James’ office.
“The attorney general played politics. The trooper was overcharged,” Mungeer claimed.
Tim Dymond, president of the State Police Investigators Union, also complained about James’ handing of the Baldner case and ripped the AG for recently releasing the transcript of “Trooper #1,” one of women who have accused former Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexual misconduct.
“Tish just hasn’t been really making decisions we feel are at all reasonable to the state police and the Trooper Baldner incident really set things off,” Dymond said.
“That to me, kind of laid out her platform of ‘police are the problem’ that ‘sentiment that we need to fix the police.’ We can always improve and I’ll be the first one to tell you we are imperfect, but I don’t think these problems are starting with the police officers or the troopers,” he said.
A James campaign spokesperson responded, “Kathy Hochul should say if she agrees with her Trump-loving police union endorser that seeking justice for an 11-year-old girl who was killed by a state trooper who used his car as a ram is “playing politics.”
Mungeer endorsed former President Donald Trump for president over then Democratic nominee — and now president — Joe Biden.
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane also is running in the Democratic primary for governor, while Mayor Bill de Blasio and Congressman Tom Suozzi are considering entering the race.
The Republican Party also will have a gubernatorial primary. Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Andrew Giuliani, the son of former city Mayor Rudy Giuliani, are vying for the nomination.