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

Terror fighters in abundance

October 15, 2001

Everyone in town these days seems to be forming an anti-terrorism committee.

Last month Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik formed a counter-terrorism committee comprising city and federal officials.

The committee was to be co-chaired by First Deputy Commissioner Joe Dunne and the head of the FBI's New York office Barry Mawn, who said at the time, "Anything we in the law enforcement community can do to raise the level of security throughout the city and to engage in information sharing, we should do."

Unfortunately, the committee did not get off to a promising start after Mawn disclosed that he failed to notify city officials of letters received at NBC containing anthrax. It was not clear whether Mawn's own agents notified him.

Last week, Gov. George Pataki, who appeared excluded from the city-federal committee, appointed Mawn's FBI predecessor Jim Kallstrom to head the state's new Office of Public Security.

Law enforcement officials say Kallstrom may soon add the former NYPD Chief of Department Louis Anemone, regarded by many in the department as a tactical genius but long ignored by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, law enforcement sources say Anemone volunteered his services to the Police Department but was turned away. Former Deputy Commissioner Eddie Norris, who heads the Baltimore Police Department, then asked Anemone to draw up an anti-terror contingency plan there that has been hailed as a model for cities.

Finally last week, State Sen. Roy Goodman announced he had formed a committee to assess the state's vulnerability to terrorist threats.

Included in his committee are former police commissioners Robert McGuire, Ray Kelly and Howard Safir.

In a telephone interview, Goodman said he hoped to work with Dunne and Kallstrom, each of whom he described as "my old friend." He then stated twice that he was "not trying to jump out in front of the parade."

Translation: He wasn't just seeking publicity.

In perhaps the most contentious vote in Police Department pension history, former chief of personnel Michael Markman was denied a tax-free, line-of-duty pension last week for a back injury he said he suffered eight years ago.

Since becoming chief of personnel in 1995, Markman had infuriated the police unions because the department's medical board, which reports to the chief of personnel, had rejected similar disabilities for officers with more serious injuries than his.

Eyebrows were raised a year ago when Markman was examined privately in the office of the department's chief surgeon, Dr. Robert Thomas. The chief surgeon also reports to the chief of personnel. The medical board then approved Markman for a line-of-duty disability.

Word around the department was that Markman had never taken sick leave at the time of his injury but began documenting it after he became chief of personnel and realized a line-of-duty disability required medical documentation.

To obtain final approval, an officer needs seven of the 12 votes of the city's pension board. Of those 12, six votes are controlled by the city, six by the police unions, which always vote in favor of the applicant.

In Markman's case, however, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which has four votes, abstained. The sergeants' and detectives' unions - each of which have half a vote - also abstained. Only the captains' and lieutenants' unions voted for Markman.

Markman's next move is a court appeal of the pension board's ruling.

While there is precedent for the court to overrule the board's vote, Markman's chances may be precluded because there is no precedent for the five-vote union abstention.

Before anyone feels sorry for him, it should be noted that Markman's pension still will be in the range of $120,000 a year. Although he will pay federal taxes, he won't pay anything to the state or city.

Victoria's Secrets [Con't].
It's not just Kerik with whom Victoria Gotti is chummy. [See last week's One Police Plaza for how the daughter of the nation's pre-eminent mobster chatted with Kerik by telephone at his office at police headquarters.]

Last Thursday, Victoria Gotti tells us in her column in the New York Post that she chatted with Bill Bratton'swife, Rikki Klieman, at Campagnola, the upscale East Side joint where she and the city's top police officials all seem to be hanging out these days.

Bratton appears in line for a top spot in the mayoral administration of Mark Green, though whether as police commissioner or deputy mayor in charge of emergency services remains to be seen.

After extolling the Bratton/Klieman marriage - his fourth - Victoria Gotti referred to Klieman as "the maybe second lady of Gracie Mansion," a description Green and his wife may find interesting.

Staff writer Rocco Parascandola contributed to this column.

« Back to top

© 2001 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.