NY Special Commissioner of Investigation Authority to Issue Investigatory Subpoena to Private Companies

In C.S.A. Contr. Corp. v. Stancik, 259 AD2d 318 [1st Dept 1999] the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District was authorized to issue an investigatory subpoena, not just to officers and employees of City schools and City agencies, but also to a private company that was not in contractual privity with the Board of Education, but had worked on a Board of Education project as a subcontractor and was suspected of misconduct in connection therewith. In Matter of New York City Dept. of Investigation v. Passannante, 148 AD2d 101, 103 [1st Dept 1989] the City had paid the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) $ 20 million, and New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) was investigating, inter alia, vendors and consultants doing business with FIT. The court determined that DOI's investigative power contained in New York City Charter 803 extends to an individual and private corporation which had performed consulting services for FIT, and were neither employed by nor in contractual privity with the City. In Matter of Weintraub v. Fraiman (supra, at 784-785), New York City Department of Investigation's "inquisitorial powers" were found to reach the office of City Marshal, "and by logical extension that power reaches any person, even though unconnected with city employment, when there are grounds present to sustain a belief such person has information relative to the subject matter of the investigation."