New York

Report faults commissioner's absences amid jail violence

New York City's Department of Investigation says the correction commissioner spent 90 days outside the city last year even amid violence problems at the troubled Rikers Island jail complex.

The New York Times (http://nyti.ms/2ppfShH ) reported Friday investigators found Commissioner Joseph Ponte (pahnt) took his city-owned vehicle to Maine in violation of guidelines. It says many Department of Correction employees routinely misused their agency vehicles.

The report says while the commissioner was away subordinates dealt with the on-duty death of a correction officer, an inmate death and an escape.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio's (dih BLAH'-zee-ohz) office says Ponte has presided over "sweeping reforms" and it's not focusing on how often he visited his family.

A Department of Correction spokesman says any rule violation was a misunderstanding and won't recur. He says Ponte is on call 24/7.

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Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com