The public safety commissioner-elect can be a private investigator unless the work conflicts with his city job, the assistant city attorney has ruled.
Richard Wirth, who will take office Friday as public safety commissioner, said he won’t take private investigation cases in the city while he serves in public office, even if he could do so without a conflict.
“It’s my own choice to take or not take a case, and I wouldn’t do it,” Wirth said.
The city ethics code prohibits public safety officials from doing private investigation work if it is related to their city job, said Anthony Izzo, assistant city attorney. That’s the same for any professional, Izzo said.
“It doesn’t say you can’t have that job. It really doesn’t put private investigators in any different category,” Izzo said.
But the code does name private investigators, leading some people in the community to wonder whether Wirth is allowed to continue his work.
The city’s ethics code states: “No public safety officer shall have any interest in or be employed in the city by any company… for the purpose of providing private investigations, accident reconstruction, fire prevention, or fire inspection or any other activity related to such public safety officer’s employment with the city.”
Wirth is president of Craig Investigations, which is based in Schuylerville. Craig is Wirth’s middle name. The company does a lot of investigations outside the area anyway, Wirth said.
He is licensed by the state to be a private investigator in the entire state.
“It has nothing to do with the city at all.”
The Long Island native has been a private investigator for 22 years, and uses surveillance and sources available to private investigators but not the general public to do research for his clients.
Wirth became a private investigator after several years of work as a store detective and an investigator for a security company.
He investigates cases involving marital issues, missing persons, car accidents and identity theft.
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