On Sunday, an unnamed police source released a video from the 44th precinct’s Christmas party at a Yonkers bar last Thursday.
The clip shows a woman with a blurred face giving a lap dance to a smiling man in the middle of what appears to be a bar, as the other patrons — reportedly NYPD officers — clear the floor and look on. Another seems to show the same dance filmed from a different angle, dancing and grinding on the same man, claimed to be Nick McGarry.
Department officials have confirmed they are investigating the matter but would not comment further.
The dancing officer was not immediately identified by the newspaper. But on Wednesday, the Daily Mail reported her name, age, and other details gleaned from social media accounts after confirming her identity with an anonymous NYPD source.
Reports: NYPD’s Vera Mekuli Gave Lap Dance
According to public records obtained by the Mail, 26-year-old Mekuli joined the department in February and earns a $42,500 salary before overtime. She was reportedly working as a real estate agent in the Bronx before joining the force.
“She’s a rookie and was trying to get cool points,” said a detective who claimed to be “close” with Mekuli and Lt. McGarry. “Nick should have known better, being in a position of power.”
On her since-deleted LinkedIn page, Mekuli wrote that she is originally from the Bronx and graduated from John Jay College in Manhattan in 2018 with a degree in criminal justice and “police science.”
She does not appear to have responded to requests for comment from multiple media outlets.
On Monday, Mekuli’s father told reporters that the lap dance video and ensuing scandal “frustrated” the 26-year-old.
“She told me, ‘Daddy, I make some mistake,’” her dad said. “‘I’m very embarrassed about what I did. I embarrassed you and my family.’”
“She cried and cried,” he continued. “She is young. […] He is married, the lieutenant. He should know better. I am going to sue them.”
Mekuli Won’t Be Disciplined, Sources Say
Though NYPD brass have said they are investigating the lap dance incident, the Post reported Wednesday that Mekuli isn’t “facing any disciplinary charges” for her alleged conduct.
“She shouldn’t be disciplined at all,” opined the Mail’s police source.
Lt. McGarry, for his part, was quickly pulled from his Bronx post and reassigned to the department’s transit bureau, as Breaking Daily News has reported. On Monday, Post reporters showed up at McGarry’s Orange County home, angering his wife Melissa who hurled obscenities at the journalists before driving off.
NYPD Lap Dance Scandal Drags On
On the day the video leaked, another unnamed NYPD source told the Post that McGarry “knew he f—ked up” at the Christmas party.
“Messing with your subordinate is a no-no on the job,” the source reportedly said. “[Mekuli] doesn’t know any better because she just came on the job, [but] I can’t even tell you how many times they tell incoming supervisors that. It sets a bad precedent.”
Though it’s said to be “frowned upon,” the department has no official rule against senior officers dating or otherwise being personally involved with their subordinates.