NYPD Confidential - An Inside Look at the New York Police Department
Home Page
All Columns
Contact Leonard Levitt
Search this site

As he said before, he's not leaving

March 8, 1996

Police Commissioner William Bratton was a last-minute, no-show at two public appearances yesterday, adding to a crescendo of speculation he is about to leave the department.

The speculation among top chiefs increased after they learned that Chief of Department Louie Anemone - said to be a favorite of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani - would travel to Israel as an adviser on terrorism at the same time the mayor is scheduled to arrive this weekend.

A top aide to Bratton said the commissioner was "uptown," all afternoon, and gave no further details. Both the mayor and Police Department spokesman Tom Kelly denied rumors of Bratton's imminent departure.

"Commissioner Bratton has no plans to leave," said the mayor. "These reports exist periodically, maybe in order to create a story. Or to create a difficulty," he added cryptically.

Said Kelly: "The police commissioner is not leaving. He told me he is not leaving. He has told me this at least once a week over the past several months as various media outlets have reported that his resignation is imminent. The last time he told me was this morning."

Recent reports in the New York Post said he had been offered a $500,000 job with Disney / Cap Cities / ABC. Bratton aides deny any job was offered.

One of Bratton's closest aides, Deputy Commissioner Peter LaPorte, said yesterday, "The police commissioner has no intention of leaving at this time. He is committed to running the police department. He is committed to seeing the narcotics initiative through to the end."

LaPorte added that it was Bratton who had recommended to the mayor that Anemone travel to Israel as a terrorism expert. "There is no greater terrorism expert in the department than Anemone," he said.

Printable versionStill, despite the denials, rumors of Bratton's departure continued to swirl at Police Plaza. "We've heard these rumors in the past," said a top chief yesterday, "but this one has the ring of truth. Now would be the perfect time for him to leave."

Crime is down. He's just made the cover of Time magazine. He has a book contract with a $300,000 advance. And his relationship with the mayor is still a problem.

The recent drug initiative, which is to begin next month in Brooklyn, exemplifies the "difficulty" about which Giuliani hinted. Bratton's operation is being run by Anemone's handpicked chief, Joe Dunne, who last week replaced the former Brooklyn North borough commander, Benny Foster. But Bratton's planned transfers of other top borough commanders have been vetoed, at least temporarily, by Giuliani for reasons neither man has publicly explained.

Relations between Bratton and the mayor have been strained for the past year, ever since Giuliani forced the resignation of Kelly's predecessor and Bratton confidante John Miller for apparently providing Bratton with more favorable publicity than the mayor was receiving.

And relations remain strained today, with another Bratton aide suggesting that the rumors of this most recent departure were in fact leaked by City Hall.

« Back to top

Email Leonard Levitt at llevitt@nypdconfidential.com

© 1996 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.