2016-03-30 / Front Page

Former FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta Was 83

Former FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta has passed away at age 83. Scoppetta led a distinguished life. He was admitted to the bar in New York City in 1962, and was appointed an Assistant District Attorney in New York County by District Attorney Frank Hogan. He served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan D.A.'s Office until 1969, when he became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

In 1971, he served as Associate Counsel to the Knapp Commission, which investigated corruption in the New York City Police Department.

In 1972, he served for a brief time as Deputy Independent Counsel in the investigation and prosecution of a former Special Assistant to President Richard Nixon.

On December 1, 1972, Scoppetta was appointed Commissioner of Investigation for the City of New York by Mayor John Lindsay, and was re-appointed to that position by Mayor Abraham Beame in 1974.

On August 1, 1974, Scoppetta was accused by New York City Controller Harrison J. Goldin of "instructing" a civil servant in the Controller's office to make entries in the Controller's books that were not there when his auditors looked at them.

On December 6, 1976, Beame named Scoppetta to the newly created post of Deputy Mayor for Criminal Justice while still remaining in his post as Commissioner of Investigation. He held both positions until he was replaced by incoming Mayor Ed Koch on January 5, 1978.

Scoppetta was the 31st New York City Fire Commissioner. He was appointed to that position by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on January 1, 2002 and was succeeded by Salvatore Cassano on January 1, 2010.

Borough President Melinda Katz said, “Nicholas Scoppetta was the very embodiment of what it means to be a true public servant. During his more than four decades in government, Commissioner Scoppetta put his remarkable intelligence and his considerable managerial and leadership experience to work on behalf of the people of this City, first as a prosecutor and then as a deputy mayor and later as the Commissioner who brought much needed reform to the Administration for Children’s Services. And after 343 members of New York’s Bravest were killed in the 9/11 attacks, Commissioner Scoppetta successfully helped rebuild and strengthen what had been a devastated Fire Department. His legacy of achievement in public service will live on for decades to come. My heartfelt condolences go out to Commissioner Scoppetta’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

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