ALBANY, N.Y. – A trooper with the New York State Police assigned to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s security detail got hot and heavy with one of New York’s first daughters in 2020. As a result, he was soon transferred to a location near the Canadian border, Law Officer reported at the time.
Trooper Dane Pfeiffer, 37, told state investigators it was not his idea to get transferred to the North Country after becoming involved in a relationship in the spring of 2020 with Cara Kennedy-Cuomo, 27, – the daughter of then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo – while working gubernatorial security.
“On paper I volunteered, but no, I don’t want to go up there, never want to go there again,” Pfeiffer said of the barracks in Plattsburgh, according to a 32-page report released Friday by New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang.
The report documents that Pfeiffer said he was “voluntold” to seek a transfer from Cuomo’s security detail. Consequently, his new assignment resulted in a two-hour commute, the New York Post reported.
Pfeiffer, a former tennis pro, was caught in the spotlight during the public saga, Law Officer reported in 2020.
State Police Superintendent Kevin Bruen was working as a first deputy superintendent in 2020. He told investigators Pfeiffer “was in love with the girl. And I cut him a break.”
That ‘break’ came when Pfeiffer was allowed to request a transfer to a location of his choice rather than being dispatched to Buffalo 300 miles away — much farther from Albany than Plattsburgh.
However, the trooper’s initial choice was too close to the Executive Mansion for the comfort of department brass, according to the IG report. So he was dispatched to Plattsburgh. Although the location is near the Canadian border, it takes only about two hours to drive between Plattsburgh and, compared to the nearly five hour drive between Buffalo and the state capital.
During the interview, Pfeiffer said he took a call from the head of the then-governor’s protective services unit on May 24, 2020. In clear terms, he was “expected” to ask for a transfer outside the Albany region, The Post reported.
As a result, Pfeiffer “requested” the transfer to Plattsburgh, but told investigators that he was left “pretty heavily defeated” by the experience.
Pfeiffer articulated that he “had not furthered his relationship while on duty” and has maintained that he did nothing wrong since New York State Police policy did not prohibit troopers from having sexual relations with the people they protect.
According to the IG report, similar circumstances in the future could be avoided if state police developed a policy that prohibited dating or otherwise becoming sexually involved with individuals under their protection, The Post reported.
Bruen is now working with Lang to adopt such a directive, according to a state police spokesperson.
Pfeiffer has since been reassigned from Plattsburgh to a position centered in New York City. However, sources for the news outlet could not immediately confirm whether he and Kennedy-Cuomo are still dating.
The report from the IG’s office also revealed that Melissa DeRosa, the former secretary to Cuomo, first reported the budding romance, the Daily Mail reported.
Cuomo’s daughter told the governor of the relationship on May 21, 2020.
The very next day, Cuomo’s “mean girl” top aide Melissa DeRosa contacted state police to alert them to the romantic relationship, and Pfeiffer was summoned to a state police office for an interview that was never filed as a personnel complaint, according to the report.
“If [DeRosa] did not advise the state police of the relationship, it would presumably have continued without any review of Pfeiffer’s assignments,” the report noted.
The report says the action by state police in response to the information was “inappropriate.”
The New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association is not happy with the way things are coming to light via the IG’s report.
“Our Trooper is being used as a political pawn for a power grab by the Inspector General to assert her undue influence on the New York State Police,” PBA President Thomas Mungeer said in a statement. “I stand by the decisions made by Superintendent Kevin Bruen and have full faith in his leadership of the State Police.”