Coming over loud and clear
December 23, 1996
In October, Chief of Department Louis Anemone so frightened mayoral chum and fund raiser Howard Koeppel after Koeppel mistakenly sat amid the hallowed first row of officials at a police funeral that Koeppel burst into tears.
That same month, First Deputy Tosano Simonetti cursed out a city employee coordinating the Yankee Day parade, calling him a "fat - - - ."
Well, over at LaGuardia's Delta shuttle, the welkin still rings from the bellows of Police Commissioner Howard Safir after Delta refused to hold its Washington shuttle for him last month.
Safir had highballed out of Police Plaza after deciding to bump Anemone and personally accept an "Innovations in Government" award from the Ford Foundation for the department's COMPSTAT crime-strategy program.
Alas, Safir arrived at LaGuardia less than 10 minutes before departure, demanded Delta reopen its plane door for him, then went ballistic when the airline refused, braying in the time-immemorial fashion of the professional wannabee, "Do you know who I am?"
Delta's Corporate Communications Director Bill Berry said, "Our requirement procedure is that passengers must show up ten minutes before departure. If they are late, we can't open the door again."
Said the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Marilyn Mode: "The only rude person was the Delta gatekeeper."
Koeppel, whom Anemone frightened into tears, sits on something Safir calls the Courtesy, Professional and Respect Committee (CPR), a public-relations gimmick announced the day Amnesty Internatioanl trashed the NYPD for allegedly brutalizing minorities. The committee's purpose is to make cops more responsive to the public.
That apparently doesn't include the top brass. Safir has never publicly discussed either the Anemone or Simonetti incidents. His patron, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has called Anemone's outburst at Koeppel, "Much ado about nothing."
Asked whether Safir's Delta outburst might qualify as a subject of discussion for the CPR Committee, Mode answered, "I have nothing for you."
Not a Happy Lot. A policeman's lot may not be a happy one, as Gilbert and Sullivan wrote a century ago. But then, neither is today's Queens assistant district attorney's.
"A certain malaise or lack of spirit is creeping into the psyche of the office," writes Barry Schwartz, "the number-two grand poobah of the place," as he terms himself in the office's newsletter "Frontline."
So Schwartz began meeting with ADAs at Donovan's bar in Woodside and discovered some "significant misconceptions," he writes, "that motherhood was a detriment to career advancement.
"The evidence advanced for this proposition were the several women who had a child, took maternity leave, and are now assigned to the Intake Bureau despite their relatively senior status."
But, writes Schwartz, all those women asked to be assigned to Intake "to accommodate their own particular childcare circumstances, be they practical or emotional needs. Thus," he concludes, "this was not an example of discrimination against women. It is rather an example of successful office policy."
Struck. Deputy Commissioner Mode was in an auto accident earlier this month on the Upper East Side with a disappearing taxi. No injuries, she says, so she toddled off to a meeting in Brooklyn, despite some 19th Precinct grumbles that a sergeant had to clean up her paperwork.
Rumors to the contrary, she says this is her first car accident since becoming Deputy Commissioner for Public Information. (She drives a department vehicle.) When she was Safir's spokeswoman at the fire department, she says, her car was stolen.
Banned. The well-known police-pension attorney Jeff Goldberg has been banned from the Health Services Division after he filed a complaint against Theodore Cohen of the department's medical board. Goldberg charged Cohen called his client, Police Officer Eric Gerpe, "a liar" over an elbow injury, then forcibly tried to straighten out the elbow.
Health Services Inspector Vincent Mansfield called Goldberg's complaint "unsubstantiated" because Cohen denied the charges and, says Mansfield, "we were left with He says, she says.' " He added that Goldberg's complaint against Cohen "had no bearing on the fact that Goldberg was invited not to come back to the building." Goldberg says he's suing, claiming cops are entitled to counsel while being examined.
Email Leonard Levitt at email@example.com
© 1996 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.