By: Serach Nissim
A former veteran parole officer has become a whistleblower alleging that her agency purposely mishandled the cases of high-risk sex offenders in order to comply with the governor’s mandate to reduce New York State’s prison population.
As reported by the NY Post, Rita Flynn, 67, has turned on her agency after working for the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for 42 years. She spent eight of those years, from 2007 through 2016, specifically managing cases of criminals convicted of perverted sex crimes. She is now speaking up, claiming that the DOCCS intentionally botched cases — including cases in which convicted pedophiles were released from supervision despite warnings, to get arrested for new sex crimes, as well as colleagues who were promoted for turning a blind eye and dropping a case, as per Flynn’s explosive claims. Flynn says the agency was obsessed with making the state’s sex offender supervision program seem successful, by having less people imprisoned and/or under state supervision. She says her supervisors even discouraged her from reporting signs of abuse, so as to keep up appearances.
“They’re covering up criminal activity on the part of high-risk violent offenders just to push it out there and appease Albany and discharge people to appease the governor’s office” Flynn told the Post. Flynn has two ongoing lawsuits against the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. One is a federal lawsuit alleging free speech and due process violations, and the other is an open whistleblower retaliation case in the NY Court of Claims.
She has now written a letter to the Inspector General’s office, requesting that her claims be investigated. Flynn, who worked as a parole officer out of DOCCS offices in Westchester and Dutchess Counties, specifies at least four cases in her letter. Per the Post, among them, is a disturbing case of a convicted pedophile jailed for child pornography, for whom the agency approved a move to North Carolina. There he was arrested twice last year and charged again with multiple child exploitation offenses. Flynn claims he was again granted transfer to another state, despite being under investigation, which under state law, should have barred him from moving. Flynn cited another case, in which her colleague got a promotion after recommending that a Westchester grammar school teacher convicted of child sex abuse be discharged from the recommended sentence of lifetime supervision. “The [officer] covering this case had clearly played along with our administration’s tawdry agenda … and was rewarded when she was politically appointed to a top agency position,” Flynn wrote.
“They deliberately mishandled the supervision of sex offender cases,” Fynn wrote in the letter to the IG. “The agency now functioned as a mule to push the governor’s new agenda that called for emptying out the prison system based on the theory that ‘less is more.’” Flynn told the Post that she was forced to resign in February 2020 after repeatedly speaking out against agency corruption which she claims started under former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and has continued through Gov. Hochul’s term.
“I could have saved my job, but I wouldn’t be able to put my head down at night. I’m a disgraced officer. That weighs heavy on my heart, but in my head I tried to do the right thing,” Flynn told the Post.