NY police union denies trooper was transferred for dating Gov. Cuomo's daughter

Union officials lambasted a New York Post story that reported Trooper Dane J. Pfeiffer was transferred from the coveted governor's detail as a punishment for dating Cara Kennedy-Cuomo


By Brendan J. Lyons
Times Union, Albany, N.Y.

ALBANY, N.Y. — The head of the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association issued a memo to his members over the weekend seeking to cast doubt on a New York Post story that reported a state trooper had been transferred from the governor's protective detail to Plattsburgh, after it was revealed he was dating Cuomo's 25-year-old daughter Cara Kennedy-Cuomo.

The Post had reported last week that Trooper Dane J. Pfeiffer, 35, met the governor's daughter while serving on the detail and they began quietly dating. A confidential source who told the Times Union about the transfer on Aug. 17 could not immediately confirm whether the relationship would have violated any policies.

Michaela (left), Cara and Mariah Kennedy-Cuomo stand with father Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Michaela (left), Cara and Mariah Kennedy-Cuomo stand with father Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Gov. Andrew Cuomo/Facebook)

The Post's story asserted that Pfeiffer's transfer, after he bought a residence in Saratoga County and would need to commute to Plattsburgh, was a form of punishment known as "highway therapy."

"I have been a trooper for 27 years and I have never heard of that term, so it lends me to believe that any sources they relied on were not from within the State Police," Mungeer wrote. "Great job reporting a non-story, people!"

But while Mungeer's assertion that "highway therapy" may not be a term within the ranks of the State Police, there is no doubt that the framework of the Post's story is accurate. The person who described the situation to the Times Union in August said he had first-hand knowledge of the fact Kennedy-Cuomo informed her father of the relationship earlier this spring, and Pfeiffer, who is originally from Connecticut, was transferred from the coveted governor's detail to Troop B in Plattsburgh within days.

The Post reported: "The move failed to cool the couple's ardor and Pfeiffer routinely returns to the Executive Mansion to pick up Kennedy-Cuomo for dates, further upsetting the governor, a source said."

Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, told the Post the governor had "nothing to do with the transfer" and that Pfeiffer had requested it.

What the Post's story did not report is that a sergeant who supervised Pfeiffer on the detail also was allegedly transferred — to Long Island, according to a State Police source.

"The only person who fell on the sword was the sergeant who was in charge of this trooper, so the next day that sergeant got transferred to Long Island, which is OK because at least with Long Island you're getting the high-location pay," the person said.

However, Beau Duffy, a spokesman for the State Police, on Sunday afternoon said the sergeant was not transferred and he was not aware of any discipline involving that trooper. Duffy also clarified that Pfeiffer requested to be transferred out of the governor's detail.

"Trooper Pfeiffer requested a voluntary transfer to Troop B this past May, stating that he wanted to gain more field experience and further his career advancement track to the rank of sergeant," Duffy said in a statement. "Such requests are routine, and it was granted."

When asked in August if the relationship between Pfeiffer and the governor's daughter had violated any policies of the State Police or the protective detail, the source had said: "Not that I know of. I mean, she's of age. ... Unless a trooper does something criminal, there's never a transfer that happens as quickly as that."

(c)2020 the Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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