A retired NYPD detective turned Fox News personality—who was accused of racist language and violence during his time on the force, and who has boasted about hitting a female civilian on his podcast—is running for school board in an upstate New York town. Though he was cleared of the on-duty charges in an NYPD trial, his candidacy has caused turmoil among local parents ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Angel Maysonet, a law enforcement advocate and former member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, is campaigning for the board of education in Warwick, about 50 miles north of New York City. The Trump-sympathizing former cop has called for body-cams on teachers and cameras in their classrooms, and for schools to hire “heavily armed” guards from a “federally funded force.”
In March, Maysonet announced on his podcast that he was running for school board in the town, and railed against progressivism and “participation trophy shit.”
“You could be a conservative, you could be a liberal, you could be a progressive, you could be a Republican, Democrat, keep your politics out of schools,” said Maysonet. “Keep your bedside manner out of schools. Keep your shit out of the schools.”
Kids, Maysonet added, “should not have some teacher who identifies as a kitten teaching them what to believe” and “who to love and who not to love.”
“Are you running as yourself or are you running as a kitten or some sort of other animal?” asked his co-host, an active NYPD detective named Eli Slavkin.
“I think I’m gonna run as a—I might run as a lesbian,” Maysonet answered.
The off-color exchange was no surprise for parents in Orange County, New York, who’ve followed Maysonet’s commentary in local groups on Facebook—or on Twitter, where he has more than 30,000 followers and inveighs against “leftists indoctrinating” children, critical race theory, non-binary identities, “wokeness,” and the press as “the enemy of the state.”
“BREAKING NEWS. There are only 2 genders. Male or female. Fook your feelings,” Maysonet once tweeted. This year, he bragged about being blocked by Cartoon Network on Transgender Day of Visibility after tweeting, “Leave our kids out of this grown up adult created nightmare,” when the network posted about respecting people by using their preferred pronouns.
Opponents have also pointed to Maysonet’s record as a police officer, and multiple civilian complaints against him that alleged racist language and abuse of authority. (New York City’s police complaint board ruled that five of those complaints were “substantiated,” but Maysonet was found not guilty in an internal NYPD trial.)
The race is expected to be tight, and Maysonet is running with support from allies of the controversial right-wing group Moms for Liberty (M4L). Some of M4L’s Orange County chapter members have promoted fundraisers for him and another candidate in their private Facebook group. And one M4L group admin, a realtor named Carmela Borrazas, helped Mayonset organize a “Back the Blue” pro-law enforcement rally in July 2020.
Maysonet told The Daily Beast he had no official ties to M4L. “I can’t really tell you about their mission or what they do,” he said, adding that he’s read the group’s page “but I can tell you it probably hasn’t been in months.”
While Maysonet seemed to distance himself from M4L, he has publicly supported one of their Facebook posts condemning a local drag queen story hour as “child grooming.”
The Orange County M4L group told The Daily Beast that it “has neither endorsed nor funded any School Board Members.” Some residents, however, are raising the specter of M4L’s national agenda, which includes banning books and critical race theory. A recent letter to the editor in Warwick’s local paper tied Maysonet and another school board candidate to the group.
“So she got dealt with…I struck her about the head and face and I threw her into the gauntlet and she was subsequently thrown down the stairs.”
— Angel Maysonet, describing an arrest on his podcast
Local M4L members are championing two other Warwick candidates in addition to Maysonet—Adrienne Tveter, a medical billing supervisor who has railed against COVID vaccine mandates, and whose husband is a retired NYPD cop who, like Maysonet, was on the Joint Terrorism Task Force; and incumbent John Garcia, a lifelong resident and retired Phys. Ed teacher and coach (Garcia also has support from some M4L opponents). But the Bronx-born Maysonet, who’s opined about “woke culture” hurting police morale and suggested agencies train cops in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as an alternative use of force, has the highest profile.
After backlash, Maysonet published a video that he said was in response to a “smear campaign” against him. “You may or may not have seen some videos circulating with snippets of things that I’ve said on law enforcement podcasts on the internet,” he said.
Maysonet later added, “Well, they’re gonna go low, and I’m going to stay high. Whether you agree with me or not. I’m here to protect you and your children especially.”
Meanwhile, some parents are hoping that a big defeat on election day will send Maysonet packing. “He’s a joker with a podcast that thinks he’s a celebrity,” said one local parent. “This guy needs to be stopped here and now. And my hope is that his loss would be so staggering that he would think twice before trying to do this anywhere else.”
Speaking to The Daily Beast, Maysonet said his detractors had taken his remarks out of context. His sister is gay, he said, and “I’m one of her biggest supporters. I don’t have anything against anyone who decides they’re trans, non-binary, gender dysphoria, whatever the case may be.”
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Facebook/Getty/Handout
During Maysonet’s time as a police officer with the NYPD, he had six complaints against him filed with the NYPD’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the agency that investigates misconduct in the ranks. None of the complaints resulted in discipline. Of the 18 allegations spread across those six reports, seven were found to be unsubstantiated. He is listed as “exonerated” in one, while five more were closed when complainants or alleged victims were uncooperative or unavailable. Five of the complaints were substantiated, which the CCRB defines as a complaint in which “there is sufficient credible evidence to believe that the subject officer committed the alleged act without legal justification.”
Substantiated CCRB complaints are rare. A New York Civil Liberties Union study of CCRB complaints from 1994 through 2016 found that the CCRB substantiated, “on average, 5.2 percent of complaints closed—far below the substantiation rates reported by civilian oversight agencies nationally.” A 2021 investigation by ABC7 found slightly better results: approximately 7.5 percent of complaints were substantiated, out of the more than 103,000 complaints filed with the CCRB over the past 20 years. The NYPD told ABC7 that “close to 90%” of officers have no substantiated complaints in their name.
Maysonet has five, which stem from an incident in 2003. While responding to a call about drug activity in the Bronx, Maysonet encountered a 26-year-old Black resident and allegedly “stopped him, frisked and searched him, punched him in the face, told him to ‘get a job’ and threatened to ‘put a bullet’ in his ‘Black ass.’”
The man’s sister called CCRB to file a complaint after her brother was treated at a hospital for injuries to his face. For his part, Maysonet accused the man of being a drug lookout and denied frisking him or making racist statements. CCRB records indicate that Maysonet was tried by the NYPD’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Trials, was found not guilty, and received no discipline as a result of the case. (According to the ABC7 analysis, just 3.5 percent of officers named in CCRB complaints are disciplined.)
Maysonet told The Daily Beast that that incident, as well as other complaints against him, were baseless. “A lot of times their only recourse is to complain against you, right? Because they feel like they’re gonna get revenge. They feel like they’re going to say this and it’s my word against their word, and that’s what happened,” he said, adding that his substantiated case was sent to an NYPD department trial, “and I was found not guilty of all those charges. What was alleged against me was a lie. It never happened. And that’s why I never received any discipline associated with that or any other charges.”
Allegations from other complaints against Maysonet were not substantiated. In 2006, CCRB records show, another 26-year-old Black man arrested by Maysonet and his partner claimed that Maysonet “made racially offensive remarks toward him, such as, ‘You Black people are savages, you Black people are dumb, you ain’t ever going to get anything!’”
At the station house, the accuser said, Maysonet punched him in the head and face after yelling, “You think you’re a tough guy? You’re in my house!” The complaint was closed after the man failed to respond to inquiries from investigators.
“If I was fact single, I would like angry f*ck her. I would do like horrific, like sadistic shit to her.”
— Angel Maysonet’s co-host on his podcast, Eli Slavkin, about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
In an earlier complaint from 2002—which was heavily redacted and found to be unsubstantiated—a white man in his late forties who claimed to be a telephone technician said he encountered Maysonet “beating up” his brother in the Bronx while the sibling was in handcuffs and two other cops “stood by, laughing.” When the man told Maysonet to leave the arrestee alone, Maysonet allegedly answered, “Go back to your white fucking neighborhood before I arrest your ass too. You have nothing to do here.”
The technician said he walked away but Maysonet summoned him back and announced he was going to arrest him, “because I feel like it.” In the police van, Maysonet allegedly told the technician he would “spend his ass in jail for trying to be a nice guy.”
In an interview with internal affairs, Maysonet denied choking or kicking the arrestee, though the complaint notes that “there is no dispute” that he and two other officers “struck or pushed” him because he allegedly “resisted arrest.” Maysonet also “denied cursing at [the sibling] or making any comments regarding his race.” The CCRB report added that the arrestee “has been arrested a total of eleven times, mostly for narcotics related charges.” Maysonet and another cop told investigators that they approached the man after spotting him holding heroin.
That year, a 46-year-old Hispanic man also filed a complaint against Maysonet which was determined to be unsubstantiated. The man said he was standing outside a Bronx beauty salon when a police van parked in front of him, and a cop jumped out, grabbed him and pushed him against the wall. That’s when, the complaint says, Maysonet showed up to assist the officer, warning the man he’d “fuck him up” if he didn’t get on the wall. The man asked why the cops were searching him, and Maysonet asked him if he paid taxes. “Officer Maysonet said that he was just doing the job that [the man] paid him to do with his tax money,” the report alleges.
Maysonet also allegedly inquired whether the man worked, and the man “stated that he was on mental disability.” According to the report, Maysonet said, “Oh, you’re crazy. I’m crazy too, I like crackheads and dope fiends and heroin addicts for lunch and dinner.” The report says that when the man asked Mayonset and another officer for their shield numbers, Maysonet answered, “You don’t need my badge number, you already got it.” An officer allegedly told the man’s daughter that he “had been seen exiting a drug-prone building.” After the cops frisked the man, the document adds, they walked off.
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/YouTube/Getty/Twitter
Maysonet has also drawn critiques for his public comments that he doesn’t support Black Lives Matter and that he thinks George Floyd’s death wasn’t a result of racism, that Floyd wasn’t “a hero, martyr, or role model,” and that he didn’t deserve statues in his honor.
At his “Black the Blue” rally in 2020, Maysonet told the crowd that “the narrative that Warwick is a racist town is nonsense.” He added, “I have never felt oppressed by anyone in Warwick. Police officers are currently the most marginalized members of society, without a doubt.”
Despite these comments, the ex-cop served on a state-mandated panel on police reform that was implemented in wake of Floyd’s murder.
One Black woman in Warwick told The Daily Beast that she viewed Maysonet as “dismissive of Black people’s statements of feeling oppressed, of feeling endangered in this community, because he didn’t feel that way” and feels his candidacy is “a danger.”
“I was on the local board for that in my town, and a lot of people were pissed off, because they know that I’m a conservative and I’m not a, you know, Puerto Rican who cries victim and blames the evil white man for everything,” Maysonet said on his podcast last year.
Maysonet’s presence on the policing panel led some community members to email Warwick’s town supervisor, Michael Sweeton, in 2020 to ask why he was appointed. “Why would you have a member, Angel Maysonet, who has numerous complaints against him outspoken against BLM, on a police reform committee?” one resident asked. Another resident, who identified herself as a Black woman in an email to Sweeton, wrote, “if you have viewed his social media activity, I sincerely don’t believe you can honestly think this is the right man for the job.”
In his May 6 campaign video, Maysonet addressed the CCRB complaints, which he said were being weaponized against him.
“When you’re arresting people and putting bad guys in jail, you get complaints,” he said. “I have never received any discipline associated with any of those complaints. I was exonerated in every single one of them.”
During a candidates forum on a local radio station the same day, Maysonet declared, “I’m not some racist monster that these people are making me out to be.”
“I resent the fact that people are coming after me on a personal level, and they’re spreading rumors and lies about me,” Maysonet told WTBQ. “The same thing happened when I was on the police reform board, you know, because I didn’t fall in line with what people wanted me to say because I was a Hispanic and they wanted me to say that this town was racist, and there’s racism in policing. I was ostracized and attacked on a personal level. And I’m not going to allow that to happen without me defending myself.”
Asked why he was running for Warwick’s school board, Maysonet told local outlet Tri-State Lookout, “With the uptick in school shootings around the country, I recognized the value of my experience with counterterrorism investigations as a retired NYPD Detective and former member of the NYPD / FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.”
“I am committed to being a voice for all parents and community members, advocating for their concerns and actively working towards solutions that prioritize the safety and security of our children with an open heart and a protector’s mindset,” Maysonet noted in a statement on the district’s website.
He’s used less diplomatic language on his podcast, “Nothing Further,” which he co-hosts with Slavkin, the current NYPD detective.
In one episode, Maysonet defended one NYPD officer who punched a woman in the face when she allegedly tried to interfere with the arrest of a man wanted for attempted murder.
“Once they go off to college, we, as conservative parents are screwed though. It’s akin to gang recruitment.”
— Angel Maysonet, on parenting and education
“She fucked around and she found out,” Maysonet said, before chiming in with his own story about clocking a woman in a low-income housing complex in the 1990s. During the incident, Maysonet said, he was responding to two officers being held hostage. Maysonet said when he and other cops worked to remove residents from the building, a woman spit in his face.
“So she got dealt with,” Maysonet said. “I struck her about the head and face and I threw her into the gauntlet and she was subsequently thrown down the stairs.”
Later, Slavkin tells Maysonet, “I would never actually wanna knock out a woman, but I have no issue … ” Maysonet interrupts, “I could name one woman that I’d love to knock out, but I’m not going to.” He then clarifies that he’s “not talking about politics.”
In the same episode, Slavkin calls U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) a “cunt” and an “attractive woman” and imagines having violent sex with her.
“You know what the sad thing about it is though, that as much of a cunt as she is and I really, really try not to use that term,” Slavkin elaborates, “she really is an attractive woman.”
“Yeah, she can get it,” Maysonet replies.
“I wouldn’t have said that, but I’m not the least bit surprised that you actually went ahead and said that,” Slavkin continues. “The bottom line is that it’s sad that she’s so attractive and yet she’s such a cunt. But since you said she can get it, if I had an opportunity, if I was fact single, I would like angry fuck her. I would do like horrific, like sadistic shit to her.”
Mayonset interrupts to ask: “I want to get this straight. So she if was ugly and she was this inept and fucking brainless, it would be okay?”
“I suppose,” Slavkin says, adding, “I mean, that was probably a little chauvinistic of me to say,” while Maysonet laughs and says, “No, I get you.”
Asked about the exchange, Maysonet told The Daily Beast he couldn’t comment on Slavkin’s remarks, which were not his own. “I didn’t make those statements so I can’t comment on those statements because I did not make them. And I certainly didn’t give them a ringing endorsement.” (Slavkin declined to comment.)
In another episode, Maysonet bemoaned opposition to right-wing ideas. “When you’re conservative, they don’t want you to put your ideas out there to anybody, right? … We don’t want prayer in the classroom, we don’t want this, they want that,” Maysonet said.
The men then zeroed in on drag queen storytimes. “The problem is wanting to push them on children. Why would a drag queen want to do drag queen storytime?” Maysonet asked, before answering his own question, “Yeah, mental illness, definitely.”
Since Maysonet posted the recent video defending himself, his candidacy has stirred debate among Warwick parents in private Facebook groups. One person commented to Maysonet that he is “not even self aware of how vitriolic your words are” and that it could “leave the district liable” for them.
A ringleader of the Orange County M4L chapter joined the fray in a post on her own Facebook page. “Kuddos [sic] to Angel Maysonet for embodying the true meaning of leadership in responding to the vicious smear campaigns with candor, and tenacity,” she wrote last week.
“I suspect the people are done with visceral, spineless, indoctrination peddling radicals capturing our Public School System,” she added. “The radical left smear campaign will all but ensure that the majority continues to take a sharp turn away from their toxic ideology and ways.”
Not all parents agree on Maysonet’s record. From the perspective of one Warwick mom, Maysonet’s Twitter feed appears “transphobic, homophobic, misogynistic” and they “can’t see him being a representative for every child in the district and creating a loving and nurturing environment.”
Another Warwick local, who created a parody website of a page supporting Maysonet and other candidates, is one of several parents who told The Daily Beast they’re concerned about extremism in town, especially since anti-trans signage is cropping up around in the area. (The placards read: “Men Can’t Be Women. Warwick Celebrates Women’s History Month.”)
“DANGEROUS & RADICAL CANDIDATES ARE TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE WARWICK BOE,” the parody site warns. Of Maysonet, the page adds, “He has no background, training, or professional experience in K-12 education whatsoever. He has been endorsed by the hate group, Mom’s [sic] for Liberty.”
“Is he still a member of the OCNY Chapter?” adds the site, which links to screen grabs suggesting Maysonet is a member of the Moms for Liberty branch’s Facebook group.
A third parent said that based on Maysonet’s social media posts, they believe he has “an utter disdain for the entire profession” of teaching.
In one 2021 tweet, Maysonet said he had “weekly communication” with his child’s high school teachers. “I stay on top of his schoolwork & what they are attempting to force feed him.” He added, “Once they go off to college, we, as conservative parents are screwed though. It’s akin to gang recruitment.”
Maysonet railed in another post that people must “hold teachers who bring their personal politics into the classroom & try to poison our kids accountable” and that “I don’t send my kid to school to be radicalized by these commies.”
The parent says Maysonet’s Twitter feed is “full of thinly veiled racism, specifically towards [Vice President] Kamala Harris, and anybody who’s a Democrat, or anybody who doesn’t think like him is automatically the enemy. So how does this make you a public servant?”
“That’s why I find it extremely concerning that he’s running.”