An NYPD pilot claims he was unjustly stripped of his gun and badge after his nurse wife was arrested for allegedly taking part in a COVID-19 vaccine fraud scheme.
Derin De Vouno filed a petition in New York County Supreme Court this week asking to be fully reinstated by the NYPD after he had been placed on modified duty following the arrest of his wife, Julie De Vouno, in January.
Julie De Vouno, owner of Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare in Amityville, was charged with forgery and offering a false instrument for filing, a felony. after she allegedly used her Long Island medical center to make $1.5 million by selling fake vaccine cards.
After his wife’s arrest, Derin De Vouno was removed from active duty, which meant that he was forced to turn in his gun and badge, according court filings that say that he has been denied his retirement benefits due to his modified status after he left the department in August.
The court filing goes on to call the department’s decision to put De Vouno on restricted duty “irrational” and “arbitrary,” because he had not been involved in his wife’s alleged scheme.
“However, even if it could be argued that the NYPD could have believed that
[Derin De Vouno] may have been involved in the allegations against his wife, which he was not, certainly once it became clear to the NYPD that [he] was not involved there was no justification for keeping him on modified assignment,” the petition states.
Julie De Vouno is still awaiting her trial and is due back in court on January 13.
Her husband had been with the department for just over 20 years and had been trained to fly both helicopters and airplanes for the department.
In January 2020, De Vouno was docked five vacation days after he was accused of using his aerial talents to fly an NYPD spy plane in a penis-shaped route to send a message to a supervisor he was angry at.
He had also been facing allegations of making improper flight entries and not conducting flight surveys.