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The Early Years: 1873 - 1933

1873
After New York City's coffers were robbed of hundreds of millions of dollars during the Tammany Hall years, the New York State Legislature creates on July 18, 1873 the Office of the Commissioners of Accounts, which is now known as DOI.

1884
DOI is granted the power to issue subpoenas and administer oaths. These actions give the agency more clout and investigative capabilities.

1895
The "Greater New York Charter" extends the power of DOI to all the newly incorporated boroughs.

1907
John P. Mitchel appointed as DOI commissioner. He is credited with developing the investigative powers of the Office.

1910
Raymond B. ("Fearless") Fosdick appointed as DOI Commissioner - first to describe Office as "the Mayor's eye."

1914
Former DOI Commissioner John Mitchel, 35, elected Mayor. Nicknamed the "Boy Mayor," Mitchel delegates more responsibilities to DOI and appoints Leonard Wallstein as DOI Commissioner.

1917
Commissioner Leonard Wallstein, who grows impatient with the slow pace of the District Attorney in prosecuting DOI cases, attempts to direct prosecution of corrupt officials. Wallstein arranges for warrants to be issued against a clerk and three inspectors who tried to have a professional pickpocket operate among the long lines of applicants waiting for licenses. The Chief magistrate and a representative from DOI present the case to a Grand Jury, who indict the three inspectors. The clerk flees the state.

1920
For the first time, DOI encourages complaints from private citizens against public employees and officials, and begins to hold hearings based on complaints by employees of unfair treatment or dismissal.

1924
A City Charter amendment designates the Office of the Commissioner of Accounts to be the Department of Investigation and Accounts.

1926
DOI Commissioner Joseph Warren delivers 281 financial reports or audits to Mayor Jim Walker and criticizes the previous mayor for failing to audit the City's finances.

1932
Mayor James Walker is forced to resign amid allegations of abuses and irresponsible conduct, including the suppression of several damaging reports. Walker had made effective, but selective, use of the Department. His abuses were uncovered by a State Committee.

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