Witness stand to transfer?
September 30, 1996
Two days after police officer Daisy Boria rocked a Bronx courthouse by contradicting the testimony of fellow cops in support of Officer Francis X. Livoti, efforts are under way to transfer her from the 46th Precinct.
The stated reason: fear of retaliation.
Livoti, the controversial PBA delegate with a score of civilian complaints, is accused of choking 29-year-old Anthony Baez to death as he allegedly struggled to arrest him. Three fellow 46th Precinct cops testified they had helped Livoti struggle with Baez and never saw Livoti choke him.
But Boria - whose partner, Mario Erotokritou, was one of those who has said he helped Livoti in the struggle - testified Wednesday that no struggle occurred. "If it did, I didn't see it," she said.
How her testimony reflects on Livoti's guilt or innocence is unclear. How it reflects on the police department is all too clear. As a ranking Bronx officer put it, "Something is terribly wrong here."
On Friday, Inspector Edward DeLatorre, the adjutant, or No. 3 man in the Bronx borough command, telephoned the chief of patrol's office to request that Boria be transferred. He cited fear of retaliation for her testimony by fellow 46th Precinct cops.It was not immediately clear how Boria felt about a transfer.
As of now, the department has not acted on DeLatorre's request. Last year, Boria filed a federal lawsuit against the NYPD, charging sexual harassment by her fellow cops. And the department fears that a transfer might aid her lawsuit.
Some in the NYPD have suggested Boria's testimony last week was in retaliation for the alleged sexual harassment. Others have suggested the alleged sexual harassment was in retaliation for her grand jury testimony about Baez's death, which occurred in December, 1994, before she filed her lawsuit.
To the Mattresses. First Deputy Commissioner Tosano Simonetti justified the department's dropping its round-the-clock protection of Danielle DeMedici just three days before her ex-boyfriend murdered her, saying: "No matter what kind of coverage we had, this person was so bent on this he would have waited until he had the opportunity."
Simonetti didn't say that in June he'd selected Donald P. O'Donnell as commander of Brooklyn's 66th Precinct, where the incident occurred. Some say the selection was part of his increasingly visible feud with Chief of Department Louis Anemone over the loyalty of precinct commanders.
O'Donnell had served with Simonetti under former Chief of Department Robert Johnston. Simonetti had been Johnston's executive officer; O'Donnell, his administrative lieutenant.
O'Donnell succeeded Sal Carcaterra, whom Anemone had selected, while Simonetti was under him as Brooklyn South borough commander. Carcaterra succeeded Simonetti's man, Stephen Paragallo, whom Anemone had flopped - some say scapegoated - to northern Manhattan after Gov. George Pataki complained that during the 1994 gubernatorial election campaign, Democratic opponents had trashed his election posters in the precinct.
After Police Commissioner Howard Safir jumped Simonetti over Anemone to first deputy, Simonetti returned Paragallo to Brooklyn, and appointed commander of the 63rd Precinct.
O'Donnell, meanwhile, is said to be the fellow who curtailed DeMedici's 24-hour protection before she was slain. He was also summoned to City Hall the day the story broke in the newspapers.
Lenny and the Lights. Commissioner Safir played first. First Dep (Tosano the Tiger) Simonetti took the mound. Director of Press Operations Lenny Alcivar finally got the lights on. And the department's Public Information Office defeated the NYPD press corps, 8-4.
Seen (at Friday night's retirement dinner for former First Deputy Commissioner John Timoney, forced from One Police Plaza in disgrace by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani after Timoney called Police Commissioner Safir a "lightweight"). Mayoral wannabes City Comptroller Alan Hevesi, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger. Ex-Commissioner William Bratton and ex-Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple. Top police chiefs Anemone, Mike Markman and Martin O'Boyle.
Unseen. Mayor Giuliani, Commissioner Safir, First Dep Simonetti (for whom Timoney had worked in the Chief of Department's Office). Criminal Justice Chief Charles Reuther.
Heard. Bronx Borough President Ferrer: "My first priority, if elected mayor, is bring back John Timoney as police commissioner."
Timoney: "My first love, the men and women of the NYPD. I love you all. I will never forget you. I pray for you every night."
Email Leonard Levitt at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 1996 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.