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Teaming with Bratton buddies

September 27, 1999

Chief of Department Louis Anemone retired unexpectedly in June as the city's top uniformed cop. He had no job or plans, a rarity for outgoing top brass. His only public explanation was that he was burned out after 32 years. Insiders said he was burned up at Police Commissioner Howard Safir, whose usefulness to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani waxed as Louie's waned.

Well, now Louie has a job. He's thrown in with two buddies of Safir's predecessor, Bill Bratton. Last week Louie turned up in Jackson, Miss., as part of the Linder-Maple crime strategy consortium that advises police departments from South America to South Africa.

Linder (for those who've already forgotten) is John Linder, Bratton's unofficial guru and publicist (not that Bratton needs much help in that department). Maple is, well, Jack Maple.

As Bratton's deputy commissioner in 1995 and 1996, Maple teamed up with Louie as Grand Inquisitors of the now famed COMPSTAT crime strategy sessions in which the two of them terrified any commander who could not justify (or articulate) his crime strategies.

Maple, who invented the concept, credits Louie as "the driving force" behind COMPSTAT's success.

Example: When then-borough patrol chief Tosano Simonetti gave a presentation, Louie flashed a picture of Pinocchio on the screen behind him. (Safir's subsequent appointment of Simonetti as First Deputy did not help Louie.)

Though Maple's and Louie's baby, COMPSTAT proved so successful that Safir has sought to take credit for it. When in 1996 the Ford Foundation recognized it with an "Innovations in Government" award and asked Louie to appear in Washington on closed-circuit television to accept it, Safir bumped him and and accepted it himself. Just as Safir stepped forward, Maple beeped Louie with a message. It read: "Ask him who invented COMPSTAT?"

One Police Plaza caught up with Louie on Wednesday in the office of Jackson police chief Bracy Coleman. In true form, the dark prince refused to take the call, telling Coleman's secretary he couldn't be interrupted.

Calendar Check.
Key dates of the Giuliani four-corners stall involving police commissioner Oscar Howard's freebie trip with wife Carol to Hollywood this year, courtesy of Revlon chief executive George Fellows-estimated cost, $7,000: Date of trip on Revlon jet: March 19.

Dates of free nights at top Beverly Hills hotel paid by Revlon: March 19-21.

Date of Carol's return trip on Revlon jet: March 22.

Date of complaint concerning propriety of trip filed with the city Conflicts of Interest Board by Councilman Sheldon Leffler (D-Hollis): March 25.

Date of joint complaint concerning trip filed with the board by Common Cause and Citizens' Union: March 30.

Date of parallel investigation sought by Giuliani and Safir and begun by Corporation Counsel Michael Hess: Last week in March.

Date today: Sept. 27.

Number of days with no resolution: 190.

LOA, Here to Stay?
Police Commissioner Safir testified Friday in federal court that he refused to recognize the newly formed Latino Officers Association because it "has the same goals" and is "duplicative" of the older Hispanic Society of police officers. The LOA broke away from the Hispanic Society after its president, Walter Alicea, threw the organization's support to Giuliani for mayor against David Dinkins.

Since then, the LOA has won a number of First Amendment verdicts in federal court against the Giuliani administration, such as the right to speak publicly without prior department approval. Meanwhile, the Hispanic Society's membership has remained at 200 while the LOA's has risen to 1,800.

When Judge Leonard Sand asked what safeguards Safir maintained to ensure that a group such as the Hispanic Society remained representative of the officers it purported to represent, Safir said he had none. Safir also acknowledged that there are six separate Christian fraternal organizations, four Catholic organizations and two women's organizations.

Cop Shoptalk.
Here's the skinny on the in-house press at One Police Plaza, as offered by the department's Office of Public Information in a confidential briefing to a recent group of promotees.

Larry Celona of the New York Post: extremely well-connected.

John Marzulli, Daily News: equally well-connected, but his stories pack a punch.

Your Humble Servant: If you're quoted in One Police Plaza Confidential, your career is over.

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© 1999 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.