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Bratton's Maple branching out of headquarters

April 3, 1996

One Police Plaza is still standing today, despite the announcement that Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple is departing.

The Indefatigable One was busy in his office yesterday and even invited this reporter to share a last cup of espresso. Unfortuntely, Maple then received a mystery telephone call that he said he had take privately. Fifteen minutes or so later, The Dapper One, resplendent in a red, white and blue bow-tie and deep powder blue shirt, opened his door and agreed to answer a few questions.

Asked about rumors that he had sought, and been rejected, for the first deputy commissioner's job under newly appointed Police Commissioner Howard Safir, Maple, the architect of the department's vaunted Comtstat meetings, in which top commanders are grilled by him and Chief of Department Louie Anemone on their crime stategies, said, "My conversations with Safir are private."

Asked about a statement by Safir's spokeswoman that he would join his ex-boss William Bratton's private security firm, Maple said, "I haven't made up my mind yet."

Intimates of Maple say his dream is to host a television "Perp" channel. As Maple envisions it, only half in jest, the channel would be a kind of localized, never-ending CNN pertaining to crime, and would become the equivalent of the world's longest line-up and largest photo array of criminals in history. Maple said, "How scrumptious."

Meanwhile Maple's staff, which works out of an unmarked office on the ninth floor, appears to be taking his - and their - imminent departure in stride. As Maple signed autographs of yesterday's copies of the Daily News - which featured a picture of him and his homburg on page one - a detective said, "The SS Maple sails on. Nobody can take away the memories. We've had a great run."

Rudy sane, says aide. Mayor Rudolph Giulaini's press secretary defended his sanity yesterday, after saying City Hall would never again answer another question from this reporter. What angered the mayor, she said, was the sentence in yesterday's One Police Plaza column, that former First Deputy Commissioner John Timoney "had suggested publicly what many in the department feel: that [the mayor] is in need of psychiatric help."

Timoney, passed over last week as Bratton's successor, then told Daily News columnist Mike McAlary that while Giuliani "may be the greatest mayor in this city's history [he] is screwed up. There's something wrong there." For that, the 29-year veteran, known as a "cop's cop," he was told by the mayor to clear out of headquarters.

Printable versionLike it or not, Timoney is not the only cop who has questioned the mayor's sanity. Many at Police Plaza and elsewhere in law enforcement have commented on his raging jealousy of Bratton's favorable publicity and his fallings-out with a parade of former allies including PBA President Lou Matarazzo and former Mayor Edward I. Koch.

So does Giuliani need a shrink? Dr. Albert Freedman, a past president of the American Psychiatric Association, said that the National Institute for Mental Health had conducted a study showing that around 28 percent of population had a diagnosible mental illness and could benefit from psychatric assistance. While not referring to Guiliani, Freedman said that "many people who are mentally ill avoid and deny any diffculty because of the stigma attached to it."

On the other hand, the syndicated psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers said, "I cannot imagine a man in less need of psychiatric help than our mayor. His actions have been motivated not by personal ego but rather what he really believes is best for New York. Any man who can take on the Fulton Fish market, I say, 'Hooray.' "

Koch said, "I would never suggest he is psychiatrically disturbed and in need of assistance. I don't believe he is." Rather, said Koch, "I believe we are seeing a Greek tragedy unfold because of his personality."

Meanwhile, mayoral press secretary Colleen Roche said that the suggestion that the mayor needs psychiatric help is "very insulting."

"Our relationship with you is over. This is not funny. And the suggestion that the mayor needs to see a psychiatrist is ludricrous."

Chiefs and their health. Approved last month for lucrative line-of-duty disability pension: deputy chief Tom Baumann, heart bill.

Approved by the department's medical board and about to go before the pension board: chief of Manhattan detectives Jack Hill, knee injury.

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Email Leonard Levitt at llevitt@nypdconfidential.com

© 1996 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.