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Joseph C. Hoffman

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Joseph C. Hoffman was New York City’s First Deputy Police Commissioner in the first administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch.  He served in all ranks, from patrol officer to deputy chief during his 29 year career with the New York Police Department.  Post NYPD, Mayor Koch asked him to serve as President of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.  He has written to police procedurals, Acts and Omissions, and The Last Mayor.

According to the book description of The Last Mayor, “It's early New Year''s Day on West 246th Street in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. A young family is taking off for a day in Manhattan--to do something. As Chris, Cathy, and their sons, Jack, and Richie, step out on to the stone patio outside their front door, they are surprised to see their neighbors lining the sidewalks cheering as the four come out of the house and jump into a car with two guys positioned on each side of the open rear door.

Later in the day, standing on the cold, half-cleared, snow-white front steps of City Hall, Chris Russo takes the oath of office as New York City's mayor, succeeding his lifelong Parkchester friend, Tom McCabe, who was forced to resign. . It's a joyful, yet somewhat unsettling post-script to events that unfolded in Joe Hoffman's first novel, "Acts and Omissions," the senseless murder of two community activists and the baffling criminal investigations, bizarre courtroom antics, and unprecedented political chicanery that followed. "The Last Mayor" takes place post 9/11. The tragic events of that day and its destructive impact on New York City's human and financial resources would dramatically change the focus of many services provided by the ci

Terrorism Task Forces at all levels of government were being created and the NYPD would be expected to play a major role in these new efforts. At the same time, the cops along with all city agencies are faced with massive cuts in their budgets. The story gets underway six months into the new mayor's term, following his surprising and bold organizational changes within a number of major city departments. Changes, that don't sit well with many inside and outside city government. Russo acknowledges the emotional and political forces at play, but vows not to be distracted from fulfilling his promises, made during his campaign and pre-9/11, to create a more productive, more efficiently-managed city work force.

Then, a brazen act of violence against one of the mayor's top aides, followed by the brutal murder of a long-time friend of the Russo family seem to be more than coincidental to the mayor's management moves. Is there a connection? That possibility sets into motion a series of highly publicized and seemingly clumsy investigations by local and federal law enforcement. At the same time, the uncovering of some incredibly clandestine political and criminal schemes, from startling sources, further complicates interactions among the mayor, the NYPD, the City Council, and the Governor's office.

Finally, Chris Russo's personal life will be disrupted when some hopefully forgotten events from the past resurface, putting pressure on both his family and his running of the city. It's early New Year''s Day on West 246th Street in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. A young family is taking off for a day in Manhattan--to do something. Later in the day, standing on the cold, half-cleared, snow-white front steps of City Hall, Chris Russo takes the oath of office as New York City's mayor. . The story gets underway six months into the new mayor's term, following his surprising and bold organizational changes within a number of major city departments. Changes, that don't sit well with many inside and outside city government.

Then, a brazen act of violence against one of the mayor's top aides, followed by the brutal murder of a long-time friend of the Russo family seem to be more than coincidental to the mayor's management moves. Is there a connection? That possibility sets into motion a series of highly publicized and seemingly clumsy investigations by local and federal law enforcement. Finally, Chris Russo's personal life will be disrupted when some hopefully forgotten events from the past resurface, putting pressure on both his family and his running of the city.”


The Last Mayor
Joseph C. Hoffman  More Info

Acts and Omissions: From a Single Act Judge Us All
Joseph C. Hoffman  More Info

According to the Acts and Omissions book description, “The investigation of the killings takes some strange turns and hits some unexpected detours, creating serious personal and political implications for McCabe and Russo. The Chief Medical Examiner will raise some forensic questions, the Bronx chapter of the Genovese mob will get some unwelcome scrutiny; and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York will eagerly jump into the investigation when some surprising, almost inconceivable conspiracies emerge.”

From the History of the New York Police Department 

The legislature (April 9, 1811,) passed an act embodying the main features contained in the memorial of the corporation, as aforesaid. This act provided for the appointment of one Special Justice, and directed that all Special Justices should be, ex-officio, Judges of the Court of General Sessions. It empowered the Mayor, from time to time, to select as many marshal and constables as he should deem necessary to perform police duty, who were to report daily at the police office and execute the orders of the Justices. For these services Constables were allowed extra compensation in the discretion of the Justices and approval of the Mayor. The Special Justices were also given control of the Watchmen, insofar as their orders related to the detection of criminals. The appointment of Marshal was limited to sixty. The ct also provided that two Aldermen should attend the court of General Sessions and act as Justices, and that another Special Justice should be appointed. The Mayor was empowered to select the Constables and Marshals, who were to attend the court as policemen. Unclaimed property was directed to be sold, the proceeds to be paid to policemen for extraordinary services.

The special Justices received from the Common council the use of the watch-room and adjoining room of the New City hall for the performance of their duties. It was again re-enacted in this year that Watchmen were not eligible to accept the office of firemen, and new staves were ordered for the use of the Constables

Constables, before taking office, were obliged to give a bond with two sureties, by which such constables agreed top pay to any person the amount he might become liable for on account of any execution he might collect. The amount of the bond is not stated, but the bond should be approved by the Supervisors, and place in the custody of the Town Clerk. Police Justices were required to account semi-annually (January and July) to the Mayor, as to what stolen goods remained unclaimed in the police office, and to advertise the same in one daily newspaper. Constables and Bailiffs were ordered to arrest all persons who disturbed religious worship on the Sabbath, or who, on the same day, exhibited any show, promoted or aided in horse-racing, or who sold any liquor within one mile of the place of meeting, under a penalty of twenty-five dollars. Suits against a Constable were to be brought within two yeas after his term of office, for failure to properly perform his duty.

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