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Mayoral list grows for PBA

February 19, 1996

Add Comptroller Alan Hevesi to the list of candidates whom the Patrolman's Benevolent Association might support for mayor in 1997.

Hevesi's name surfaced a day after PBA president Lou Matarazzo, infuriated over Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's suggestion of one-man patrol cars, professed that the PBA would not support the incumbent in 1997.

PBA sources noted that Hevesi had presented Matarazzo with the Boys' Club of America's Man of the Year award in November. Apprised Friday of the possibility of Matarazzo's mayoral support, Hevesi responded in kind. "I have the highest respect for Lou as a colleague and as a friend," the comptroller said from Bal Harbour, Fla. "Lou is an outstanding union leader and representative of the police."

Matarazzo also cited the name of Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer as another candidate the PBA might support. While Matarazzo acknowledged the union had "philosophical differences" with Ferrer, the borough president last week said, "Our differences are narrower than people think."

Although he is perceived as a department critic, Ferrer has taken some tough anticrime stances and has ties to a number of police officials, including former Commissioner Ray Kelly and current Bronx Commander Raphael Pineiro.

Then, there is the issue of Francis X. Livoti. Livoti is the Bronx cop and PBA delegate who allegedly choked 29-year-old Anthony Baez to death last year, an incident with political and racial overtones in the heavily Hispanic Bronx. Matarazzo has appeared with Livoti at each of his court appearances. When Ferrer asked Police Commissioner William Bratton to explain police procedure and training to his cabinet so that such future instances might be avoided, Bratton sent Chief of Department Louis Anemone. Anemone, regarded as the PBA's closet ally among the department's top brass, informed Ferrer and his cabinet that Livoti was a great cop.

Three hundred grand. $300,000. That's the size of Commissioner Bratton's advance from Random House for his autobiography, says a reliable source.

But since Bratton lacks a certain something as a writer ("The intent of this report is to achieve the stated objective so as to have a new organizational structure . . . that will maximize their impact and effectiveness while increasing officer motivation and job satisfaction," he wrote in a 1993 study for the Board of Education), here's the early line on some ghost-writing help.

1. John Miller. Strengths: Bratton's former deputy commissioner for public information; knows Bratton and the job as well as television and movie producers. Weakness: Still can't finish his own book.

Printable version2. John Linder. Strengths: Bratton's consulting guru; wrote his touted police strategies as well as a novel. Weakness: Novel not published.

3. Richie Esposito. Strengths: Former Newsday and Daily News metropolitan editor; knows the police and the crowd at Elaine's restaurant, where Bratton has been known to spend time; also ghosted book for Robert Stutman of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Weakness: Book is unreadable.

Ben, no Bill. Mayor Giuliani and the top police brass - except for Commissioner Bratton - attended the department's salute to African-American Heritage Month last week. They heard the guest of honor, former Police Commissioner Ben Ward, praise the mayor, saying, "He talks tough, and Bratton brought down crime so much that experts don't say it's demographics anymore."

And just where was Bratton? As befits "the most significant law-enforcement leader of our time and perhaps the 20th Century," as his lawyer recently referred to him, Bratton was in New Hampshire skiing.

The gulf. "There's a gulf between my style and the style of Lloyd Sealy, but we both want to see the same type of society" the Rev. Al Sharpton said last week at John Jay College during the 10th annual Sealy lecture, honoring the pioneeering black cop who taught at John Jay for 16 years after retiring in 1969 as the department's first black assistant chief.

Hardly a friend of the department, Sharpton spoke, sometimes eloquently, for nearly an hour to a sparsely filled auditorium. Chief of the Housing Bureau Joseph Leake was the sole top department official to attend. Eric Sanders, newly elected head of the Guardians Association of Black Officers and whose previous administration had invited Sharpton, was a no-show.

Love and marriage. First Deputy Commissioner John Timoney and his wife, Noreen, renewed their 25-year marriage vows earlier this month in the private chapel of Cardinal John O'Connor's residence off St. Patrick's Cathedral. Witnesses included Timoney's son, Sean, and daughter, Christine, and Timoney's Irish running buddy, Eamonn Coghlan. Timoney and his wife then ran off to the Caribbean for a week.

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Email Leonard Levitt at llevitt@nypdconfidential.com

© 1996 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.