Louis Molina, Las Vegas Public Safety Chief, Expected to Lead N.Y.C. Jail System

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Mr. Molina, a erstwhile N.Y.P.D. serviceman and Correction Department official, volition beryllium tasked with restoring bid astatine the troubled Rikers Island jailhouse complex.

Louis Molina will beryllium  tasked with instantly  improving conditions wrong  the Rikers Island jailhouse  analyzable  aft  months of chaos.
Credit...City Of Las Vegas

Dec. 16, 2021Updated 11:01 a.m. ET

Mayor-elect Eric Adams is expected to sanction Louis A. Molina, a erstwhile New York City constabulary serviceman who presently oversees a nationalist information section successful Las Vegas, to beryllium commissioner of the city’s embattled Correction Department, according to three people acquainted with the plans.

The station is apt to beryllium among the astir challenging successful Mr. Adams’s medication arsenic the caller politician confronts a situation of unit and upset that has crippled Rikers Island, the city’s main jailhouse complex. Mr. Molina would beryllium the 2nd idiosyncratic appointed to the relation successful conscionable implicit six months.

Mr. Molina, who would go 1 of the highest-ranking Hispanics successful metropolis government, is expected to beryllium tasked with instantly improving conditions wrong the jailhouse analyzable aft months of chaos. He volition besides beryllium faced with restoring relations with correction officers who person efficaciously revolted against the city’s existent enactment during the pandemic.

At the aforesaid time, the adjacent commissioner volition inherit a program started by Mayor Bill de Blasio to adjacent Rikers by 2027 and regenerate it with smaller jails successful Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

It is simply a taxable with which Mr. Molina is familiar. For 11 months from 2016 to 2017, helium served arsenic the department’s interior show focused connected tracking the city’s effort to comply with a colony it agreed to in the look of a suit and a national civilian rights probe related to the usage of unit and different conditions connected the island.

An announcement was planned for Thursday greeting astatine Brooklyn Borough Hall, according to 2 of the people, who, similar the others, spoke connected the information of anonymity to disclose backstage modulation plans.

A spokesperson for Mr. Adams, Evan Thies, declined to comment, arsenic did a spokesperson for the Las Vegas metropolis government.

Mr. Molina could not instantly beryllium reached for comment.

NY1 archetypal reported the enactment connected Thursday morning.

Mr. Adams, a erstwhile constabulary serviceman who campaigned connected restoring a consciousness of information to the streets, is successful the process of finalizing different elder nationalist information roles. He announced connected Tuesday that he had selected Keechant Sewell, the Nassau County main of detectives, to beryllium the city’s archetypal pistillate constabulary commissioner. And helium is wide expected to name a lawman politician for nationalist safety, restoring the high-level presumption to oversee some Chief Sewell and Mr. Molina.

Mr. Adams’s modulation squad informed Vincent Schiraldi, the existent correction commissioner, connected Tuesday that his word would not beryllium extended, the radical said.


Credit...Jeenah Moon/Associated Press

Mr. Schiraldi, a reform-minded researcher who spent overmuch of his vocation starring nonprofit organizations, had conscionable taken up the correction station successful June, and had made nary concealed astir his tendency to enactment connected successful the caller administration. Outside advocacy groups had lobbied Mr. Adams successful caller weeks to support him amid signs that conditions connected the land were improving from the debased points of this summertime and fall.

But Mr. Schiraldi had clashed with Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association successful caller months, arsenic basal operations successful the Rikers analyzable person breached down and the metropolis implemented a vaccine mandate for officers. The metropolis pinned blasted connected the national aft hundreds of officers had refused to amusement up for work this year, and the national successful crook castigated metropolis officials for implementing 12-hour shifts successful effect to staffing shortages aft the mandate took effect.

The national celebrated reports of Mr. Schiraldi’s removal connected Tuesday, blaming him and Mr. de Blasio for the “unprecedented humanitarian situation successful our jails.”

“Neither of them should beryllium allowed to tally a correction strategy ever again. Time’s Up Bill & Vinny!” the radical posted on its Twitter account.

Incoming N.Y.C. Mayor Eric Adams’s New Administration

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Mr. Adams has signaled helium intends to beryllium friendlier with the union, and Mr. Molina would connection him a cleanable slate from which to attack solving problems successful the complex.

Mr. Molina brings a varied résumé to the role, having done stints — immoderate of them rather abbreviated — successful galore antithetic cogs of the transgression justness system, according to his LinkedIn profile. After 13 years arsenic a New York City constabulary officer, Mr. Molina served arsenic a backstage information advisor to New York University, an researcher for the Brooklyn territory attorney’s office, an advisor to the city’s homelessness services department, the corrections system’s interior Rikers show and a person of the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s enforcement division.

In 2018, helium became the No. 2 successful the Westchester Department of Correction, wherever helium helped the region fulfill the presumption of its ain statement with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and extremity national monitoring of its attraction of incarcerated people.

George Latimer, the Westchester County enforcement who hired him, called Mr. Molina “an highly talented fellow” and predicted helium “will bash a terrific job.”

“He has a ringing endorsement from his 3 years successful Westchester County,” said Mr. Latimer, a Democrat.

Mr. Molina moved successful January to Las Vegas, wherever arsenic main of nationalist information helium oversaw the metropolis jailhouse and a fleet of marshals that protected metropolis parks and buildings. The Las Vegas strategy is considerably smaller than the 1 Mr. Molina would beryllium taking on, with conscionable 394 full-time employees and a jailhouse capableness of 1,200 compared to astir 10,000 employees and astir 10,000 beds successful New York City.

The incoming politician has sketched retired an ambitious little for his commissioner. In summation to resetting relations with the system’s astir 7,800 correction officers, Mr. Adams wants to amended decrepit facilities connected the island, wherever incarcerated radical person been capable to manner pieces of the crumbling structures into weapons and flight their cells, and effort to accelerate the processing clip of cases. In galore cases, they person lagged importantly during the pandemic, helping swell the city’s jailhouse colonisation — which had declined to its lowest constituent successful decades — to much than 5,000 radical a nighttime connected average.

Although Mr. de Blasio has tried to prohibition the usage of solitary confinement, Mr. Adams has said helium favors restoring immoderate signifier of it arsenic a measurement to isolate convulsive incarcerated radical and reconstruct bid connected Rikers Island.

And helium has said he supports the program to adjacent Rikers, which the City Council approved successful 2019. But helium is expected to enactment his ain imprint connected it that could change the scope oregon timeline of the task and importantly signifier Mr. Molina’s mandate arsenic commissioner.

Dana Rubinstein and Jonah E. Bromwich contributed reporting.

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