The Nine

NYPD cop retires amid probe into racist, online postings

A high-ranking cop who formerly oversaw workplace-discrimination complaints for the NYPD filed for retirement Monday amid allegations he secretly spewed hundreds of bigoted remarks online, The Post has learned.

The move by Deputy Inspector James Kobel came a day after The Post reported that he’d been suspended without pay pending the anticipated filing of disciplinary charges.

Kobel, who joined the NYPD in 1992, will receive his pension, which can only be stripped upon a felony conviction.

He had a base salary of $180,327 and was paid $188,989 in fiscal 2020, according to city payroll records.

Kobel came under fire in November when the City Council Committee on Oversight and Investigations accused him of hiding behind a pseudonym to express “racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and homophobic sentiments” on an online bulletin board known as the Rant.

The committee alleged that Kobel used the handle “Clouseau” — the name of the bumbling detective in the “Pink Panther” movies —  to post about 500 comments between the summer of 2019 and the fall of 2020.

Some of Clouseau’s slurs targeted black public officials, including Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who were referred to as “a gap-toothed wildebeest” and the “twitching missing link,” respectively.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mixed-race son, Dante, was also attacked as “brillohead.”

Kobel was stripped of his job as commanding officer of the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, placed on modified duty and transferred to the Transit Borough Command for The Bronx and Queens after police brass were given an advance copy of the committee’s report in October.

The NYPD noted that the evidence against Kobel was “circumstantial” but said “it merited immediate investigation” by the Internal Affairs Bureau.

The IAB probe led to his suspension and the NYPD had been expected to file departmental charges before a 30-day deadline expired, sources familiar with the matter said.

Kobel has repeatedly denied being Clouseau but said the accusation would likely end his career.

The head of Kobel’s union, the Captains Endowment Association, said Kobel had “served the City of New York and the NYPD honorably for nearly 29 years.”

“Given the current political climate and anti-police sentiment, DI Kobel did not see it as possible to get a fair administrative trial and decided to avail himself of the opportunity to file for retirement,” CEA President Chris Monahan added. 

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