So was Senator Chuck Schumer sincere or mischievous in announcing that he would push Ray Kelly for the job of FBI Director?
Schumer’s idea prompted an immediate disclaimer – not from Kelly but from his boss, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Schumer called Kelly “the pre-eminent law enforcement person in the country,” and said he’ll “strenuously advocate” for him to run the Bureau, although Schumer acknowledged that he hadn’t spoken to Kelly about it. The job opens up in September when Director Robert Mueller retires, ending his ten-year term.
Bloomberg, however, announced that Kelly wasn’t going anywhere, an indication that Schumer hadn’t spoken to the mayor about it either.
“I for one, would certainly like — I expect — him to stay … the next 1,023 days,” said
Tag: Ray Kelly
So was Senator Chuck Schumer sincere or mischievous in announcing that he would push Ray Kelly for the job of FBI Director?
Long Island Congressman Peter King can be a wild and crazy guy.
The big-mouth Republican has fallen in love with the IRA, championed losers and picked sorry political friends.
He sounded semi-hysterical when he defended Bernie Kerik after a federal judge tossed the former police commissioner into the slammer for four years, calling Kerik’s sentence “an absolute disgrace.”
Forget that Kerik had pleaded guilty to eight felonies, including tax fraud and lying to the White House while being vetted for the job of Director of Homeland Security.
Rather, King saw Kerik’s prison sentence as political correctness run amok. “If Bernie Kerik were more politically correct, or if Bernie Kerik didn’t come from such a rough upbringing… we’d have editorials all over the country denouncing what happened,” King told Geraldo Rivera on Fox News.
“Kerik got too big for some people who don’t go for his type of person: a tough guy, an honest guy, a guy who fights for the people. He didn’t come from the socially elite
Counterterror NYC, a National Geographic special that aired a week ago, blindly and uncritically endorsed Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s 24/7, high-tech approach to fighting terrorism. It failed to address Kelly’s fatal flaw, which hampers the NYPD’s fight against terrorism: his out-of-control ego.
That ego, which dictates that Kelly and Kelly alone control all anti-terrorism operations regarding New York City, has not only created fissures between the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies that are fighting terrorism. It directly caused the NYPD to fumble the most serious terrorist plot against the city since 9/11.
The Nat Geo special – which aired January 30 — begins at last year’s U.S. Tennis Open, with action scenes of a “Hercules” anti-terrorism team — those cops you see around the city carrying assault rifles at subway turnstiles, outside Grand Central Station and at God knows how many other high-profile
For the past 15 years or so, the FBI has allowed itself to be ignored and even maligned in New York City.
FBI Director Robert Mueller has downplayed the Bureau’s successes and remained silent amidst claims by New York City’s loudest law enforcement official, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, that the Bureau cannot be trusted to protect New York from another terrorist attack.
So pusillanimous has the FBI become on the public relations front, that Mark Mershon, who headed the Bureau’s New York office from 2005-2009, stated proudly, on the record, that his first and most important job, at Mueller’s specific request, was to placate Kelly.
But change has come to the FBI’s New York office. A whirlwind has appeared in the person of Special Agent Richard Kolko, who is hell-bent on publicizing each and every FBI accomplishment.
Kolko, whose bio lists him as a former assignment editor and producer at CNN, is a throwback to both J. Edgar Hoover and Alfred Hitchcock.
He has Hoover’s flair as a master Bureau promoter.
And like Hitchcock’s on-screen cameos, he likes to slip himself into his own press releases by quoting himself.
Hard-line law enforcement reporters and even some federal colleagues say he grandstands and
JANUARY. With the December blizzard still crippling what was once called The Greatest City in The World, Mayor Michael Bloomberg summons Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to City Hall to ask why he looked so glum at all those news conferences where the mayor was skewered for failing to clean up the streets.
“You kept avoiding the cameras, Ray,” says Mayor Mike. “You never made eye contact. If I didn’t know better, I might think you didn’t want to be seen standing at my side.”
FEBRUARY. With snow still blanketing Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island, Mayor Bloomberg announces that he is appointing Kelly temporary head of the Sanitation Department.
Bloomberg assures the public that Kelly will remain as Police Commissioner, albeit in a limited capacity, until all side streets are cleared.
Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron says a better choice to head the Sanitation Department might be Schools Chancellor Cathie Black.
Says Barron: “Because she’s so good at thinking outside the box, she might have some ideas for snow removal that Kelly hasn’t thought of.”
MARCH. While snow still covers side-streets in the Bronx and Staten Island, Mayor Bloomberg promises that the city will have all traces of the blizzard removed by the end of April. He adds that he hopes to be in Bermuda for Easter, which falls late this year.
APRIL. With the snow removal crisis dissipating, Kelly and Browne secretly visit Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. They travel incognito, by subway, because Kelly remains skittish about driving after being involved in a three-car accident at the blizzard’s peak on the snow-slicked Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn. On the subway, Kelly wears a black watchmen’s cap. Browne wears a blonde wig. Following reports of “two suspicious looking characters,” police at the 125th Street stop and frisk them.
“See,” Kelly tells Sharpton, “this proves that we don’t just stop black people.”
Kelly then asks Sharpton’s advice on the New York Times’s lawsuit, which claims the police department routinely violated state law by failing to release public information to the public.
“You’ve violated that law since you became commissioner in 2002,” the Rev tells Kelly. “How come the Times just wised up?”
Browne says he paid the Times back by placing on the NYPD website 17 categories of misdemeanor crimes that the department had refused to post during Kelly’s first nine years as commissioner.
“And I leaked it to the Wall Street Journal,” Browne says. “The Times got scooped on its own story.”
MAY. As part of its lawsuit, the Times begins examining “lost property” statistics — misdemeanor crimes that that Browne specifically did not post on the NYPD web site. The Times also seeks to examine 911 calls to determine how many complaints the police refused to accept.
In addition, The Times begins investigating the department’s “computer glitch” – Brown’s excuse for why the department failed to post misdemeanor statistics for the past nine years.
JUNE. Heading to prison for failing to pay nearly $1 million in income tax, Mickey Sherman, the Connecticut criminal lawyer who lost the murder case against Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, hosts a farewell dinner for Bill Bratton and his wife Rikki Klieman at Campangola’s restaurant on First Avenue. Sherman says he hopes to be sent to the Cumberland, Maryland prison where former police commissioner Bernie Kerik is hanging his hat, and adds he plans to file a pro bono brief to reduce Kerik’s four-year sentence.
“I’ve always admired Bernie,” says Sherman – “ever since I met him at Campagnola’s when he was dining with Judith Regan, Victoria Gotti, Jeanette Pineiro and Jeanine Pirro – all at the same time.”
JULY. Citing the city’s Conflict of Interest Board’s Ethics Guide for Public Servants, which states that “to comply with the law, you cannot use your City position to gain any private advantage for yourself,” the Times begins investigating whether the Police Foundation paid for other perks for Kelly besides his dues and expenses at the Harvard Club.
Kelly contacts Hamilton South, who since 2006 has been on the Police Foundation payroll, serving as a public relations consultant for Kelly at $96,000 a year. Kelly suggests South leave town for a few months.
AUGUST. Former Deputy Commissioner for Counter Terrorism Richard Falkenrath announces he is selling his Riverdale home. He denies the sale is related to the expansion of his next door neighbor, the Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy. The school’s expansion, Falkenrath had warned the local community board last year, could be related to another 9/11 attack.
SEPTEMBER. Ignoring Browne’s warning that it may be violating national security, the Times begins investigating the demise of the police department’s “Scholar in Residence” program, which Kelly announced to much fanfare in 2008. The Times seeks to learn exactly how many times the so-called scholar, a former CIA Operations officer and forensic psychiatrist who lives in Rockville Maryland, actually came to Police Plaza.
OCTOBER. After Kelly refuses to comment on “any aspect relating to national security,” the Times starts investigating the Counter Terrorism Foundation, the Neo-con-sounding, Washington D.C.- based think tank that paid the scholar’s $180,000 salary.
NOVEMBER. Vacationing in Bermuda, Mayor Bloomberg commissions a poll to determine whether the public has forgotten his blizzard debacle and whether any groundswell is developing for him to run for President in 2112.
DECEMBER. Skeptical of poll results that indicate he couldn’t win election to dog catcher, Bloomberg returns to the city on Christmas Eve and decides to stroll down Fifth Avenue to learn how New Yorkers really feel about him.
Kelly and Hamilton South, whom Kelly has allowed to return to the city, accompany the mayor. “He’s pretty desperate,” Kelly whispers to South. “Maybe you can give him some advice.”
South whispers back: “My advice is that nothing can help him.”
From out of Christmases past on the corner of 57th Street, Bloomberg hears a voice he cannot see.
“Michael Bloomberg, I, too, failed to clean up a snowstorm and wanted to be President.”
“Ohmygod,” shouts Bloomberg. “It’s former mayor John Lindsay.”
“And you, Ray Kelly,” says Lindsay. “If you run for mayor in 2113, you’d be wise to remember this too.”
Even from the grave, Ray Kelly wants to run the NYPD.
His secret doomsday plan, unearthed by the Post’s Phil Messing last week, reveals that if Kelly dies in a “catastrophic incident,” First Deputy Rafael Pineiro will succeed him.
Should Chief of Department Joe Esposito, the NYPD’s highest ranking uniformed officer, also succumb, the line of succession will be, in this order:
Chief of Internal Affairs Charles Campisi.
Chief of Housing Joanne Jaffe.
Chief of the Organized Crime Bureau Anthony Izzo.
Kelly also has a plan for selecting Pineiro’s successor as First Deputy.
An unnamed deputy commissioner is to succeed him “as directed and designated by the Police Commissioner.”
In a memo to the department’s 33 top commanders, Kelly describes this process as “Catastrophic Incident Continuity of Command.”
A more apt title might be “Catastrophic Exaggeration of Current Police Commissioner’s Self-importance.”
It’s yet another example of Kelly’s ego run amok.
It’s made irrelevant by rules already in place and by the realities of politics at both City Hall and in the police department.
First off, if Kelly selected anyone other than Pineiro as his successor, he would be in violation of the City Charter.
The charter specifically states that if the police commissioner dies or is incapacitated, the First Deputy automatically becomes Police Commissioner.
But that’s just a temporary deal. Whether it becomes permanent is not Kelly’s call.
Despite the wishes of his doomsday memo, the decision whether or not to keep Pineiro will be Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s.
Nor will Kelly be choosing Esposito’s successor as Chief of Department or Pineiro’s successor as First Deputy.
Those decisions will be made by the next police commissioner.
Here, Kelly might well pause and remember some city history – his own.
Remember how Mayor David Dinkins appointed then First Deputy Kelly to succeed Police Commissioner Lee Brown in 1992 when Brown resigned in the wake of the Mollen corruption scandal?
A year later, Rudy Giuliani was elected mayor. His first move was to dismiss Kelly and bring in his own guy — Bill Bratton.
Remember also how when Kelly returned as Police Commissioner in 2001 he sidelined many of his predecessor’s top chiefs?
These included some super cops, notably Assistant Chief Tom Fahey and Chief of Patrol Bill Morange, formerly known as the White Prince of Harlem.
Like all commissioners, Kelly wanted his own guys.
True, it’s important to have a succession plan in place following a catastrophe like a terrorist attack.
But why is Kelly writing an obituary to himself and memorializing his successors in roles that will never happen?
Sadly, there does not appear to be anyone in his circle of sycophants and enablers strong enough to talk him off the ledge of this “Continuity of Command” nonsense.
Perhaps, Kelly chooses to ignore how rarely retired police brass, including former police commissioners, return to visit Police Plaza.
In part, this is because Kelly makes known his dislike for them. In part, it’s because they realize their time has come and gone.
Yet that insight eludes Kelly, who seeks to rule from the grave.
Despite his wishes, chances are slim that his successor will consult a medium to seek Kelly’s advice on transfers and promotions.
Finally, remember that there are many mugs like Kelly who feel New York cannot survive without them.
Remember Giuliani and his plan to remain mayor an extra three months because only he could guide the city through the aftermath of 9/11?
Somehow, New Yorkers got through it without him.
In fact, the city strengthened its terror-fighting capabilities, thanks to the newly reappointed police commissioner — Ray Kelly.
BYE BYE, BARBUTI. Captain Charles Barbuti has been bounced as the commander of the Bronx District Attorney’s squad after being caught in two police department car crashes in the last 18 months.
Police sources say he failed to notify the department about either of them.
In one of them he was accused of keeping the car while studying for the bar exam.
Sources said he never told the department or the District Attorney that he took the car home or crashed it.
But he did charge them for the tow-truck, saying it broke down.
Bronx D.A. spokesman Steve Reed confirmed that Barbuti had had two recent car accidents. He declined to elaborate.
And last November, according to these sources, Barbuti, again driving a department car, passed a street disturbance and gave a woman named “Eva” the finger.
“Eva” happens to be on Bronx D.A. Robert Johnson’s staff.
Reed confirmed that “an incident occurred” and added that Barbuti apologized to the woman.
There’s plenty more that we won’t go into now. Suffice it to say that Barbuti was ratted out by a subordinate, who’s also had troubles in the job.
Barbuti is now assigned to Bronx borough headquarters, where he didn’t return a call from this reporter.
He’s said to be trying to stick it out until spring so he can retire with his 25-year pension intact.
If past is prologue, chances are good he’ll make it. Commissioner Kelly goes easy on errant captains.
Recall Matthew Travaglia, the executive officer of the 113th precinct in Queens, who Internal Affairs nailed for moonlighting as a lawyer while claiming to be at work at the precinct?
Although charges were filed in May, 2009, he was not penalized until his transgressions appeared in this column last August.
But he received only a wrist-slap: a transfer to the 105th precinct, where we caught up with him last week while working the day shift.
If he’s still practicing law, he’s doing it after 4 P.M.
Internal Affairs may be doing its job but the perception lingers that Kelly won’t take disciplinary action against any lump if his misdeeds appear first in this column.
If that’s true, it’s no way to run a railroad, Ray.
Finally, it would not be fair to mention troubled captains without including the notorious Ronald Haas.
Bounced by the Intelligence Division after 9/11, Captain Haas now hangs his hat at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, where, as commanding officer of its detective squad, he’s still making life miserable for subordinates.
WRITING LESSONS. Retired Chief Mike Tiffany checked in last week with a writing lesson, pointing out that Your Humble Servant misused the word “penultimate” in describing Al Sharpton’s opportunism. A more apt word might have been “ultimate” or “consummate.”
Second lesson: Just because you have an Ivy League education doesn’t mean you can write proper English.
Tiffany, by the way, is a graduate of the NYPD’s “UCLA” — Manhattan North campus.
Say it ain’t so, Ray. Say it was a mistake, that the media got it wrong, that you didn’t hold a news conference pushing gun control with The Rev Al Sharpton last Friday at One Police Plaza.
On the other hand, perhaps you and Mayor Bloomberg deserve credit for declawing the city’s premier racial rabble-rouser and penultimate opportunist.
Two decades after Tawana Brawley, Crown Heights and Howard Beach; a decade after Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo; the scourge of Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch is making nice with you, Mayor Mike and the NYPD.
Or as the News’ Adam Lisberg deliciously put it after Sharpton denied he could be bought, despite accepting a secret $110,000 grant from Bloomberg in return for the Rev’s silence about Mayor’s Mike’s changing the two-term limit law: “But taking a dive on term limits showed Bloomberg that he [Sharpton] might be able to be rented.”
We’re all familiar with how Sharpton burst upon the firmament more than two decades ago by championing Brawley, the upstate, 15-year-old black girl who falsely claimed she’d been raped and beaten by a group of white men. Ordered to pay his share of $345,000 in damages for libeling Dutchess County prosecutor Steven Pagones, Sharpton refused to pay and still refuses to apologize.
We’re still appalled by his anti-Semitic remarks during the 1991 Crown Heights Riots, sparked when a car in a Hasidic rabbi’s motorcade sped through a red light and accidentally struck and killed an eight-year-old black boy, leading to the fatal stabbing of a Jewish rabbinical student in retaliation.
Said Sharpton at the time: “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.”
When Giuliani became mayor three years later, he tried to marginalize The Rev. It didn’t work.
During Giuliani’s first week in office, a near riot erupted at Harlem’s Nation of Islam Mosque Number 7 on 125th Street. To de-flame tensions, Giuliani and his new police commissioner, Bill Bratton, arranged a meeting with two Nation of Islam imams at Police Plaza. When Sharpton tried to crash the meeting, Giuliani canceled it.
That Christmas, after a black church asked the Jewish owner of Freddie’s Fashion Mart in Harlem to evict a black sub-tenant, Sharpton led protesters against the eviction, saying, “We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.”
Shortly afterward, a protester shot several customers inside the store and set it on fire, causing the death of seven employees. Sharpton expressed regret for his “white interloper” remark but denied responsibility for provoking the violence.
Then in 1997 came the case of Abner Louima, the Haitian immigrant who was sodomized with a broomstick inside the 70th precinct in tin Brooklyn by police officer Justin Volpe.
Sharpton rushed to the forefront, leading protest marches, including one across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall.
A few months later, he announced he’d run for mayor, and nearly upset the favored Ruth Messinger in the Democratic primary.
In discussing who he might select as police commissioner, Sharpton mentioned “someone like Ray Kelly,” then serving in Washington as a Treasury under secretary in the Clinton Administration.
“In view of the Louima case and systemic problems of police brutality, we don’t need to sacrifice someone tough on crime to deal with brutality,” he said. “A Ray Kelly has the perfect balance. He’ll keep crime down and keep abuse to a minimum.”
Two years later, after the unarmed African immigrant, Amadou Diallo, was killed by the police in a 41-bullet barrage, Sharpton appeared to reach the pinnacle of his influence.
He led protest marches and staged arrests by leading black figures, himself included, outside Police Plaza every day for a month.
Those protests drove then Police Commissioner Howard Safir virtually underground and no doubt hastened his departure a year later.
With the election of Mayor Bloomberg, Sharpton’s relations with City Hall took a new direction.
Perhaps it was Bloomberg’s financial largess.
Perhaps it was Kelly, whose spokesman Paul Browne — known to readers of this column as “Mr. Truth” — put out the bizarre tale that Kelly had befriended Sharpton when Kelly had walked a beat in Upper Manhattan. That would have been the mid-1960s when Sharpton, who was born in 1954 and grew up in Brooklyn, was something like a 12-year-old schoolboy. Browne has never explained what the 12-year-old Rev was doing then in Upper Manhattan while apparently playing hooky.
Whatever the reason for Sharpton’s behavioral change under Kelly and Mayor Mike, The Rev now resembles a poster child for responsible citizenship.
He’s become so respectable that Vice President Biden addressed the Rev’s National Action Network.
Such behavior has had rewards for Kelly and the NYPD.
Following the fatal police shooting of Ousmane Zongo, another unarmed African immigrant, Sharpton met with the Zongo family and provided legal services. He also arranged a meeting between Zongo’s widow and Kelly at Kelly’s office at Police Plaza.
Kelly acknowledged “very troubling questions about the shooting,” and Sharpton told reporters Kelly had promised a full departmental investigation of why and how an undercover officer fired at Zongo inside a Chelsea warehouse.
But if there has been an investigation, Kelly hasn’t informed the public about it.
If he informed Sharpton, the Rev hasn’t said anything either.
Then there’s the fatal police shooting of Sean Bell, another unarmed black man who died in a hail of 50 police bullets while out celebrating at a Queens strip joint on the eve of his wedding.
Kelly is also yet to offer an explanation of all that went wrong there. Instead he commissioned a study by the Rand corporation, which advised the increased use of Taser guns.
And what’s the Rev — who, at least on the surface, supported the Bell family — had to say about Kelly’s lack of disclosure? Not very much.
Still, you have to admire the Rev’s resilience.
Many of his old allies, rivals and enemies have floundered over the years. Alton Maddox and C. Vernon Mason from his Brawley and Howard Beach days lost their law licenses. Nobody knows anymore from Ruth Messinger. Rudy Giuliani seems to increasingly resemble a mad Rumpelstiltskin.
Yet The Rev endures.
If he has an Achilles heel, it is his taxes.
The Associated Press reported in 2008 that Sharpton and his business owed almost $1.5 million in taxes and penalties, including 366,000 clams to New York City.
Two months ago, the Detroit News reported that the Internal Revenue Service had filed a notice of federal tax lien against Sharpton in New York City for over $538,000.
While Sharpton’s attorneys have disputed these numbers, the message is surely not lost on Mayor Mike: best to keep those grants coming.
New York City’s Conflict of Interest Law seems pretty straightforward.
And it appears that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has violated it.
The law “prohibits public servants for using or appearing to use their City positions for their own personal benefit.”
It continues: “To comply with the law, you cannot use your City position to gain any private advantage for yourself…”
Over the past eight years, as this column reported, the New York City Police Foundation has paid more than $12,000 to cover Kelly’s dues and meals for guests at the Harvard Club.
Kelly has refused to disclose, even to the foundation, who these guests were.
Over the past four years, as this column reported, the Police Foundation has also paid $400,000 to a publicist, whose job has been to get Kelly favorable media coverage and to introduce him to the rich and famous. All this as Kelly considered a run for mayor in 2009 and may be considering another run in 2013.
Former Mayor Ed Koch, for one, says he believes Kelly will run. The publicist, Hamilton South, remains on the foundation payroll, earning an annual $96,000 fee, plus expenses.
In accepting these foundation freebies, Kelly seems to be encouraging the very behavior he prevented other police-friendly organizations from doing.
Returning as police commissioner in 2002 following Bernie Kerik — who so blatantly accepted gifts that he is now serving four years in federal prison — Kelly seemed almost saintly in refusing to tolerate the slightest appearance of impropriety.
He was so sensitive to appearances that in December, 2002, he bailed out at the last moment from a dinner honoring Chief of Department Joe Esposito, which was hosted at the Pierre Hotel by the Finest Foundation, one of the smaller police-friendly groups on the department’s fringes.
Not only did Kelly refuse to attend, he barred all the top brass from attending.
The Finest Foundation was forced to cancel the dinner. It lost its $10,000 deposit to the Pierre plus $39,000 in non-refundable expenses.
Kelly’s stated reason for bailing out was that the Finest’s invitations offered $5,000 tables for a “Lieutenant’s Package,” $25,000 tables for a “Chief’s Package,” and $50,000 tables for a “Commissioner’s Package.”
As Kelly explained to the foundation, “The invitation to the event raises a number of concerns, including the appearance that access to ranking law enforcement officials, would be guaranteed based on the level of contribution.”
Now, eight years later, what has happened to Kelly?
He seems to have been “using or appearing to use” his city position for his own personal benefit, via the Police Foundation at the Harvard Club. He also seems to have been “using or appearing to use” his city position to seek access to the city’s elite while considering a run for mayor. Those elites are potential political contributors for him.
In those eight years, something else has changed. With no one at City Hall reigning him in, Kelly has appears to have taken control of the Police Foundation.
He has forced out its longtime executive director, given his wife a non-paying role, created a police scholarship in his name and convinced the foundation not to speak publicly for itself but instead to have media queries answered by the police department.
In that regard, he seems to have used or appears to have used his city position to turn the Police Foundation into a professional slush fund for himself.
KELLY, SAFIR AND KERIK. Two cases involving former police commissioners may prove instructive in determining whether the current commissioner has breached the city’s ethical guidelines. The two cases may also prove instructive in determining whether the city will actively pursue a case against him.
Let’s start with Howard Safir’s free Oscar trip and weekend hotel comp by the Revlon Corporation’s CEO back in 1999.
“A public official, particularly a high-ranking public official such as yourself, should studiously avoid any conduct that undermines the public trust and confidence in government,” the Conflicts of Interest Board wrote.
Although Safir maintained he was vindicated because he was not charged with a crime, he was pressured into repaying Revlon’s CEO $7,100 for the cost of the trip. His spokeswoman said at the time that Safir did so to avoid any hint of impropriety.
Then there was Kerik.
Current Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gil Hearn nailed him for obtaining free renovations to his Bronx apartment, then referred the case to the Bronx District Attorney, where Kerik pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. The feds turned it into a felony and he’s now serving four years in federal prison.
But there’s a huge difference between Gil Hearn’s nailing Kerik and her nailing Kelly.
Although Kelly may have violated the city’s ethical guidelines, at least at this point he doesn’t appear to have committed a crime.
Perhaps more important, however, is that when Gil Hearn investigated Kerik, he was no longer in office.
Will Gil Hearn aggressively investigate a sitting police commissioner, especially one as vindictive as Kelly?
Will Gil Hearn also be willing to take on Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has provided Kelly with more power and less accountability than any police commissioner in the city’s modern history?
In short, taking on Kelly also means taking on her boss.
ONE YEAR. This weekend marks exactly one year that whistle-blower cop Adrian Schoolcraft was released from his forced six day stay in Jamaica Hospital’s psychiatric ward.
Police had dragged him there after he produced evidence that his Brooklyn precinct was fudging crime statistics.
He had secretly tape-recorded roll call meetings at the 81st precinct where supervisors had ordered cops to downgrade felonies to misdemeanors and to ignore citizens’ complaints for other crimes.
Five supervisors in the precinct, including its former commanding officer, have subsequently been charged with manipulating crime statistics.
Yet in the past year, no one from the police department has offered an explanation for Schoolcraft’s forced incarceration inside the mental ward.
No one has been held accountable.
No governmental agency has begun an investigation.
Neither Kelly nor Mayor Bloomberg has uttered one word.
No one has even offered an apology.
Not one governmental official has called for an investigation into what may be a blatant department crime: systemic statistical abuses throughout the city’s police precincts.
So far, the only official who has reached out to Schoolcraft is Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, whose special assistant recently telephoned, asking how de Blasio might help.
But de Blasio’s interest may be ephemeral.
His spokesman said last week that Schoolcraft’s father “recently reached out to our office on his son’s behalf but he and the Public Advocate have not managed to connect.”
In a town where a cop can’t accept a free cup of coffee, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has been eating and drinking for free for the past eight years at the Harvard Club.
Kelly hasn’t paid for his meals or drinks at the exclusive midtown spot on West 44th Street since 2002 when he returned as commissioner.
Nor have his guests.
Kelly also doesn’t pay his club’s dues, which come to about $1,500 a year.
Instead, the non-profit New York City Police Foundation has been picking up Kelly’s tab, says a well-placed source.
Despite this arrangement, which mirrors the kind of freebies that have landed other police commissioners in difficulty, Kelly has snubbed the hand that feeds him. He has refused the requests of foundation board members to name the guests whose food and drink they have been covering.
“There is no disclosure about whom he has taken out,” according to the source.
“There was grumbling by the board at first but they have gone along. They will not take him on. He is now in control of the foundation.”
As Police Foundation Chairman Valerie Salembier, a senior vice president of the Hearst Corporation, has been known to say of Kelly, “I can’t say no to him.”
Neither she nor executive director Greg Roberts returned calls to this reporter.
Kelly’s spokesman Paul Browne did not respond to an email asking about Kelly’s Harvard Club arrangement.
At Kelly’s urging, the foundation has also issued credit cards to the department’s precinct commanders. The stated reason: to ensure they would not be beholden to others either for meals and to reimburse them for out-of-pocket emergency supplies.
In contrast to Kelly, the commanders are limited to $100 a month and have to report their expenditures and how the money was spent to the department.
The foundation was begun in the wake of the 70′s-era Knapp Commission scandal to help the police commissioner cope with the department’s longstanding corruption by funding projects privately to bypass the city’s cumbersome approval process.
In its 39-year existence, Kelly is believed to be the only police commissioner to ask the foundation to pay his dues and expenses at a private club.
His expenditures, said the source, are not identified in foundation filings but are lumped together with “incidental” expenditures.
The Harvard Club, with the notable exception of former Governor Eliot Spitzer, is open to anyone with a Harvard degree.
Kelly earned an MPA, a Masters Degree in Public Administration, from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government while a member of the NYPD.
At the Harvard Club, Kelly can eat in its main dining room for breakfast, lunch or dinner; in its Grill Room, which serves lunch Monday through Friday; or in the Balcony, which, according to the club website “offers a dramatic view of the Main Dining Room” and serves “lighter fare, such as sandwiches, soup and a salad bar” and where a “discrete display of business papers is also permitted.”
Kelly can drink in the club’s Charles River Room, which offers a full-service bar from 4 to 11 p.m. or at the Main Bar, which is decorated with Harvard memorabilia and which, according to the club website, offers “classic cocktails, complimentary snacks and good cheer.”
Kelly’s Harvard freebies appear to contradict department policy, at least as it applies to other police officers, who since the Knapp Commission have been prohibited from accepting even a free hot dog.
The Patrol Guide’s section 203-16 reads: “It is the policy of the Department that members of the service may not accept any reward, gratuity, gift or other compensation for any service performed as a result of or in conjunction with their duties as public servants. … Members of the service also shall not solicit any gift, gratuity, loan, present, fee or reward for personal gain.”
City employees are also prohibited from accepting gifts of $50 or more from a person or a company doing business with the city.
Top police officials, however, have found themselves in trouble for accepting gifts, even when the giver does no city business.
One of the corruption charges that sent former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik to prison for four years, was his failure to report or pay income tax on the free use of an apartment, owned by a person with no known business dealings with the city.
Former First Deputy John Timoney, while chief of the Miami police department, accepted a free leased car from a dealer who did no business with the city. Although Timoney subsequently purchased the car at full price, he was criticized over the incident for the rest of his term.
Former Commissioner Howard Safir ran into trouble with the city’s Conflict of Interest Board for a freebie trip he took to the 1999 Oscars that was paid for by Revlon Corporation CEO George Fellows. Safir and his wife flew free on the company jet and Fellows paid for their stay at a four-star hotel.
Although Revlon did virtually no business with the city, a report from the corporation counsel recommended that Safir reimburse Fellows $7100 for the junket to avoid an appearance of impropriety.
Then there was former NYPD Deputy Commissioner Ed Norris, who while serving as Baltimore’s police commissioner was indicted on charges of stealing thousands of dollars from a secret police department fund. Norris used the money for affairs with women, trips to New York, meals at upscale restaurants and luxury hotels. He served six months in prison.
Kelly, however, is held to a different standard than other police officials.
In part, this is because the city’s billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has provided the perks.
Bloomberg has piloted Kelly to Kelly’s Florida home on Bloomberg’s jet.
Bloomberg also provided Kelly with front row Yankee seats in Bloomberg’s box during last year’s World Series. (A state ethics panel reprimanded Governor Paterson for accepting free tickets to the same World Series.)
At last Tuesday night’s Yankee playoff game against Texas, Kelly was seen sitting in the first row.
At the same time, police sources say that a contingent of Internal Affairs detectives were in place at the stadium to prevent cops from attending the game for free.
Police sources say Kelly was a member of the Harvard Club while serving as First Deputy Commissioner in the 1990s and allowed his boss, then Commissioner Lee Brown, to use his account there, then grumbled that Brown was late in reimbursing him.
“When he returned as police commissioner in 2002, he requested an American Express card from the police foundation but was turned down,” said another source. “The foundation then agreed to his request that it pay his Harvard Club dues and expenses.”
“I am sure his refusal to disclose comes from the same rationale that he justifies to hide his public schedule,” said the source familiar with the arrangement at the Harvard Club. “And it would be wrong for the same reasons. There is no reason he shouldn’t disclose who he takes to lunch or dinner. What message does it send to the troops?
“But there is no accountability regarding the appropriateness of his guests, and the board of the police foundation is afraid to take him on.”
Said a former top police official: “His not disclosing who he took to lunch or dinner may be harmless but it gives the appearance of Kelly’s placing himself above all rules and regulations, making him the sole arbiter or what is correct for himself.
“At the minimum, he should hold himself to the same standards as his commanders.
“Did he [Kelly] go the Harvard Club for Christmas or New Years? Did he take his wife and children? He bristles at any kind of oversight. He gets away with it because no one at City Hall has the courage to stand up to him, including the mayor. Especially the mayor.”
SEVEN SHOTS: An NYPD Raid on a Terrorist Cell and Its Aftermath by Jennifer C. Hunt portrays the best and the worst of the NYPD.
On July 31, 1997, a six-man Emergency Service team raided a Brooklyn apartment, whose inhabitants were just hours away from entering the Atlantic Avenue subway station and detonating bombs during the morning rush hour.
When two officers entered the bedroom, the suspects lunged for one of them, then moved towards a black bag that the officers believed contained the bombs. The officers fired their weapons, critically wounded the would-be bombers. Two bomb squad technicians then dismantled what turned out to be a live bomb.
It was the NYPD at its finest.
But that is just the beginning of the story told by Hunt, a sociologist and police expert, who was granted extraordinary access to the participants in telling her story.
If the raid showed the NYPD at its best, the aftermath, as Hunt chronicles, showed the NYPD at its worst.
Fearing for their safety and that of their families, the officers balked at attending a news conference with Police Commissioner Safir.
Safir took that as a personal insult and retaliated by denying them promotions and by trying to keep them from being honored at the White House.
Meanwhile, writes Hunt, jealous members of the officers’ units blocked their promotions and targeted them for harassment. Men who should have been praised as heroes instead had their careers sabotaged by forces within the department itself.
The country paid an even bigger price. Intent on downgrading the officers’ accomplishments, Safir and then mayor Rudy Giuliani downplayed the incident and failed to adequately alert the public to its significance as a terrorism threat.
Hunt’s fast-paced narrative leaves us with many questions. Perhaps the most important is this: had Safir and Giuliani reacted differently, might we have been better prepared for 9/11?
What’s with the editorial page of the Daily News when it comes to the police department?
A real newspaper challenges authority, uncovers facts that officials want to hide from the public and encourages its reporters to take the story wherever it leads.
Why then is the News a milksop and apologist for the New York City Police Department?
Take its Oct. 3 editorial, lamenting 2010′s rise of 45 murders over the same period last year, which translates into a 13 per cent increase (a figure the News apparently found too disturbing to mention).
Instead of decrying the department’s declining manpower or its leadership drift – a.k.a. Commissioner Ray Kelly — the News appeared to blame the increase in murders on two criminologists.
Or as its editorial put it:
O.K., now let’s get real.
First, it wasn’t these academics who raised the alarm over stop and frisks. It was Gov. Paterson, the state legislature, the Civil Liberties Union and God knows how many other New Yorkers disturbed by seemingly random police stops of some three million New Yorkers, 88 per cent of whom had done nothing wrong.
Second, nobody wants to handcuff the cops. The issue is that cops appear to avoid doing true police work and instead are fudging crime statistics to make the city seem safer than it is. According to tape-recordings of roll call meetings at Brooklyn’s 81st precinct, for example, the police were arresting innocent people to make their quotas.
This bourgeoning scandal is apparently growing too big for Kelly to ignore. Last week he leveled charges against five supervisors, including the 81st precinct’s former commander Steven Mauriello, for allegedly manipulating crime statistics.
Third, as for abandoning CompStat, no one has called for the end of this revolutionary and highly successful crime-tracking program, least of all the two academics scapegoated by the News, Eli Silverman and John Eterno, who happens to be a former NYPD captain.
Rather, their study, published last February, claimed that up to 25 per cent of the nearly 500 commanders they interviewed told them that CompStat crime figures were under-reported to make the city seem safer than it is.
As Silverman and Eterno recently wrote in the Village Voice — an article that appears to have prompted the News’ attack, “The ominous side [of CompStat] is that in order to silence dissenters and deny any problems, the NYPD continues to close its doors to any non-sponsored outside scrutiny. Yet the evidence of data manipulation is, at this point, overwhelming.”
That’s the issue, readers. The lack of outside scrutiny and the lack of transparency within the police department. Especially when it comes to crime statistics.
To keep down the numbers of reported crime, detectives even refuse to take complaints from civilians, as the News’ own police bureau chief Rocco Parascandola reported in 2005 when he worked for Newsday.
That’s what apparently happened six weeks ago in the 66th precinct in Brooklyn when officers refused to take a complaint from a woman who spotted a flasher exposing himself outside her home during the last week of August, according to the Borough Park newspaper Hamodia, with tragic consequences.
A week later, that flasher shot four members of a civilian patrol that had been chasing him after he again was seen exposing himself, this time in front of children.
Hamodia also reported that the department acknowledged its mistake and claimed to have disciplined the officers but refused to name them or detail their punishment.
Despite these shadows surrounding the NYPD, the Daily News’ editorial pages remain an unquestioning department supporter.
That may seem strange because its editorial page editor, Arthur Browne, is the consummate newsman.
Three decades ago as the paper’s top investigative reporter, Browne singlehandedly dismantled the Staten Island political establishment by exposing corruption there.
A few years later, Your Humble Servant watched in awe as Browne followed the bellicose Police Commissioner Benjamin Ward about Police Plaza, seeking answers Ward did not want to provide. Never speaking, never flinching, Browne simply held out his tape recorder to report Ward’s fury verbatim.
In 2007, Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for searing editorials about some 12,000 first responders sickened by the atomized air at Ground Zero.
Browne, who did not return a call from this reporter, is certainly capable of posing hard questions and uncovering injustices within the NYPD. Would that he ask who authorized breaking into the apartment of the cop who exposed the crime manipulation in the 81st precinct, and then hauling him off against his will to Jamaica Hospital’s psychiatric ward.
JOHN CLIFFORD: 34 YEARS OF NYPD BLUE. Few people outside the NYPD know the name John Clifford, who died earlier this month at age 65. In the 1980s, he served as a detective in the department’s Public Information Office. He was loyal not only to the department but to the concept of telling the truth — if not the full truth then at least to not telling a lie. When the department screwed up, Clifford never equivocated. He simply refused to answer. While some reporters viewed this as churlishness, others realized that when Clifford did speak, you’d be wise to listen.
He joined Kelly when Kelly became First Deputy under Mayor David Dinkins. “Kelly’s the best commissioner the department ever had,” Clifford said a few years later. “He knows it better than anyone and he is smarter than all of them.”
When Rudy Giuliani replaced Kelly with Bill Bratton in 1994, Clifford returned to the Public Information office. Two years later, Giuliani ordered a purge of the office because he felt Bratton was receiving too much publicity. Clifford, along with a dozen other officers, disappeared into the bowels of the Intelligence Division.
When Giuliani replaced Bratton with Howard Safir in 1996, Safir asked Kelly for staffing advice. Kelly recommended Clifford, who joined Safir’s staff in the commissioner’s office. Probably at Giuliani’s behest, Safir then severed relations with Kelly.
When Kelly returned as commissioner in 2002, he cut Safir off from the department, most notably from Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence David Cohen. “I have called you four times and you have not returned my calls,” Safir lamented in an email. “There was never a time when I was P.C. that I did not return the call you made to me, nor did I ever fail to help you.”
When Safir called Kelly’s office seeking a meeting, it was Clifford, back working for Kelly, who told Safir that he had to write a letter.
Clifford never discussed this. He was too loyal to the department to wash its dirty linen in public, even in front of his devoted wife Bunny. Kelly spoke at his funeral and issued a press release, calling him “a consummate professional and devoted friend.”
FIGHTING TERROR? Commissioner Kelly invited camera crews to the NYPD’s pistol range at Rodman’s Neck in the Bronx to watch an anti-terrorism drill last week. The reason for the drill, Kelly said, was the terror threat in Europe, which included the possibility of a Mumbai-style attack. Was it coincidence that the Port Authority Police – with whom Kelly has continually feuded over terror tactics — was conducting its own anti-terror drill on Saturday at Newark Airport, without the NYPD?
Did Brooklyn police ignore a citizen’s complaint about a flasher who ended up shooting four members of an Orthodox Jewish volunteer patrol?
That’s the charge reported in the Borough Park newspaper Hamodia, which means “Notifier” in Hebrew and calls itself “The Daily Newspaper of Torah Jewry.”
The paper also says that 66th precinct commander, Deputy Inspector John Sprague, is taking personal command of a police investigation to determine whether or why no report was filed.
Members of the Shomrim volunteer patrol, which is licensed and unarmed and has been patrolling Hasidic neighborhoods for at least two decades, were tailing the suspect, 33-year-old David Flores, on Sept. 2, after receiving a report of a man exposing himself to children, police said at the time.
At about 8 P.M., the Shomrim guys saw Flores get out of his car, chased him and tried to disarm arm him. Flores, who has nine prior arrests, then began firing, hitting four Shomrim members at 49th Street and 10th Avenue in Borough Park. Two were hit in their hands, one in his neck, a fourth in his abdomen, police said.
None of the injuries was life-threatening and the four were treated at Lutheran Medical Center, where a large police contingent — including Police Commissioner Ray Kelly — appeared.
But guess what? According to Hamodia, a week before the shooting, a Borough Park woman told a 66th precinct police officer that she and others witnessed a man matching Flores’s description, exposing himself outside her house on both Aug. 25 and 26.
The woman, Faigie Friedman, said she had alerted the Shomrim Patrol and later spoke to a police officer who responded to her home, giving that cop a description of the suspect, his car and its license plate number.
Now guess what? The police officer apparently never filed a report of Friedman’s complaint.
The NYPD appeared to confirm that no report was filed.
An email from its Public Information Office reads: “Officers from the 66th precinct responded to a 911 call to that location on Aug 26. Police are investigating whether a report was made.”
Flores, meanwhile, has been charged with assault, criminal possession and use of a firearm, reckless endangerment and menacing — but not with the sexual offenses that Friedman allegedly witnessed and reported to police.
Now if the above is true, it provides yet another example of police refusing to take crime complaints — another sign that this abuse is not confined to the 81st precinct, as described by whistle-blower cop Adrian Schoolcraft.
What Inspector Sprague’s involvement means, though, is unclear. Does it portend an honest investigation or another police cover up?
Remember, these allegations of police refusing to take crime complaints have been around long before Schoolcraft turned up with his tape-recordings of 81st precinct roll calls, where police supervisors ordered cops to downgrade felonies to misdemeanors and to refuse to take civilians’ crime complaints.
In every case, Police Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have stonewalled attempts to discover what is going on inside the NYPD that has led to this mess.
Now here’s a case that goes beyond what the mainstream media seems to be treating as mere administrative corruption.
Here, in the 66th precinct, the department’s alleged failure to take a civilian’s crime complaint and file a report has had real, and tragic, consequences.
Or as source in Borough Park described how police treat civilians’ reporting crime: “When people do everything right and report a crime, the police challenge them immediately. There is a court case on the street and it is repeated hundreds of times.”
And in a community where police relationships are prized, many note the silence of the Shomrim leadership about the apparent police failure to have taken the initial crime report, which might have prevented the shooting of its own members.
As a reader, calling himself, “Authentic Satmar,” commented to Hamodia: “And that is why crime is down in boro [sic] park. The police refuse to report it. As for the Shomrim coordinator, it sounds like he is protecting the police department. The community needs to make a big deal of this not let it get quiet.”
LET’S HEAR IT FOR BRANDON. A reader writes to question this column’s depiction of the secret attempt by Bronx Captain Brandon del Pozo to explore a settlement with whistleblower cop Schoolcraft by offering him a cushy job and the ability to testify against two top-ranking police officials after police dragged him from his apartment to Jamaica Hospital’s psychiatric ward, where he was held for six days.
A $50 MILLION MISUNDERSTANDING? Law enforcement sources in both the Queens District Attorney’s office and the Eastern District say Schoolcraft is refusing to cooperate with their preliminary attempts to investigate what was literally a police kidnapping from his Queens apartment.
His attorney Jon Norinsberg disputes this. “I can state categorically and unequivocally that this claim is false. I don’t know who these people are who are making up such false claims or why they are making these claims but there is no truth whatsoever in what they were saying.”
Schoolcraft is suing the department for $50 million dollars.
The New York Times has joined the Adrian Schoolcraft-NYPD imbroglio.
By devoting a full-column, front page story Friday to the whistle-blower cop, the Times has legitimized at least the tip of his police corruption charges that until now have appeared in the city’s tabloids, the Village Voice and this column.
Although it may appear to hibernate for part of the year, the Times does awaken and then beware: there is nothing more dangerous to a politician or a police commissioner who harbors political ambitions.
Remember Commissioner Ray Kelly’s stop and frisk databank? It was the Times that put it out of business two months ago, savaging his credibility on that issue with but a few deft strokes.
On the surface, the Times’ Schoolcraft story may seem of minor import: a secretly tape-recorded roll call meeting last April, made by what the Times described as a “police supervisor,” that quoted an 81st precinct captain, saying cops had to fulfill traffic quotas or risk being fired.
Captain Alex Perez, said the Times, “can be heard warning his top commanders that their officers must start writing more summonses or face consequences. … He said each officer on a day tour should write 20 summonses a week: five each for double-parking, parking at a bus stop, driving without a seat belt and driving while using a cell phone.”
The Times, of course, is only at the outer perimeter of the crime statistics scandal that is roiling the department.
What’s at stake is more than traffic quotas at one precinct. The Times hinted at the bigger picture.
It said Perez cited “pressure from top police officials” — indicating that the quota system was countenanced, even encouraged, from on-high.
Its story added that “the recording makes clear that precinct leaders were focused on raising the number of summonses issued — even as the Police Department had already begun an inquiry into whether crime statistics in that precinct were being manipulated.”
Crime statistics being manipulated is the elephant in the room down at One Police Plaza. Downgrading felonies to misdemeanors, to make city-wide crime appear lower than it actually is, is not confined to the 81st precinct but appears to be rampant throughout the department.
As criminologists Eli Silverman and John Eterno, a former NYPD captain, wrote recently in the Village Voice, “The ominous side is that in order to silence dissenters and deny any problems, the NYPD continues to close its doors to any non-sponsored outside scrutiny. Yet the evidence of data manipulation is, at this point, overwhelming.”
Such downgrading has consequences for public safety that go beyond statistics.
As the Voice reported, police in Upper Manhattan downgraded the complaints of rape to misdemeanor assaults, which meant that detectives weren’t aware that a pervert was on the loose until a half-dozen women were attacked.
Frightening in another way was the department’s response to Schoolcraft’s charges. A police posse, led by Deputy Chief Michael Marino, burst into Schoolcraft’s apartment and dragged him against his will to Jamaica Hospital, where he was kept in its psych ward for six days — retaliation for his corruption charges, his lawyer maintains.
When Schoolcraft subsequently fled the city and moved upstate, the department pursued him, treating him like a fugitive. They repeatedly sent cops hundreds of miles to bang on his door and threaten him with reprisals if he did not return.
An official of the local upstate police department confirmed to this reporter that the NYPD had been all over Schoolcraft’s place.
After remaining silent for a day after the Times’ ticket quota story, department spokesman Paul Browne came out with guns blazing, calling the reporting of world’s most respected newspaper “confused” and “absurd.”
Such name-calling is typical NYPD overkill when the department has been caught red-handed.
And what of Schoolcraft’s charge that Browne accompanied the police posse that dragged him in handcuffs to the psyche ward?
So far Browne — who readers of this column know as “Mr. Truth” — has refused to officially respond to that question, although he did tell a sycophantic television reporter — off the record — that he wasn’t there.
So as not to appear confused or absurd, this reporter sent him the following email: “Paul, were you or were you not at Schoolcraft’s apartment when he was brought to Jamaica hospital?’
He did not respond.
Let’s see how he answers when the Times asks.
GARRY’S VICTORY LAP. Former NYPD Deputy Commissioner Garry McCarthy appeared last week before the Citizens Crime Commission and described his struggles and successes since becoming Newark’s police director four years ago.
Respected in the NYPD as both an innovative and hands-on boss, McCarthy cited his use of the “NYPD Playbook” in reducing Newark’s sky-high murder rate and attacking street gangs and narcotics trafficking.
He singled out for thanks two former bosses and NYPD giants: the late Jack Maple and Bill Bratton.
Bratton was in the audience for McCarthy’s talk. Not in attendance: former commissioner Howard Safir, who elevated McCarthy to Deputy Commissioner and current commissioner Kelly, who doesn’t show up when Bratton is expected.
McCarthy has mellowed enough that he was able to discuss dispassionately his past dust-up with the Palisades Parkway police, who ticketed his daughter for parking in a handicapped zone. This escalated into his and his wife’s arrest, and (when he fought the charge against his daughter) into probably the most expensive parking ticket in world history.
“There are things I would have done differently,” McCarthy acknowledged. “I think it’s a renegade agency. And I was railroaded,” he said, by the traffic court judge.
“But I was protecting my daughter from someone I was not sure was a cop and I’d do that again. When you’re right, you’re right.”
CHEAP SHOT? Chief Queens Assistant District attorney Jack Ryan called this column’s suggestion that his office was reluctant to investigate Adrian Schoolcraft’s police-led trip to Jamaica’s hospital psych ward a “cheap shot.”
Ryan pointed out that to begin an investigation into the incident, he needed Schoolcraft’s cooperation. “He said he would produce his medical records and he never produced them. If he produces the records, we will look at his allegations.”
TWO SMALL 9/11 AFTERTHOUGHTS. How much of the resentment over the proposed mosque near Ground Zero stems from the failure of our own leaders — city and state officials and the site’s developer — to construct a memorial to those who died in the nine years since the attack?
What authority, moral, legal, legislative or otherwise, does disgraced former Staten Island Congressman Vito Fossella claim that allows him to lead a group of protesters against the building of the proposed mosque?
With him was Long Island Congressman Peter King, who — despite the discovery of Fossella’s secret second family in Washington D.C. (in addition to his wife and three children in Staten Island) — urged Fossella to run for re-election.