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MTA set to name new security chief

June 16, 2003

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is to announce today a successor to director of security Louis Anemone, Newsday has learned.

Anemone - dismissed last month in an embarrassing episode in which his sidekick, former Det. Nick Casale, concocted a phony "confidential informant" in a so-called corruption investigation - will head west to consult for Los Angeles' Police Chief Bill Bratton, law enforcement officials say.

Anemone's successor in the $160,000-a-year job will be Bill Morange, the NYPD's three-star chief of Organized Crime Control, the officials say.

Morange topped several other NYPD chiefs of lower rank. Whether the high number of applicants reflects the lot of police chiefs under Commissioner Ray Kelly is unclear.

But there are a lot of people at One Police Plaza who feel unappreciated.

Morange was one.

Kelly's predecessor, Bernard Kerik, had appointed him chief of patrol, a reflection of his success as commander of the 28th Precinct, where he was known as "the white prince of Harlem."

Kelly, however, transferred Morange, making way for Nicholas Estavillo, who together with Chief of Personnel Rafael Pineiro became the department's first and second three-star Hispanic chiefs.

While OCCB is the same rank as patrol, it is considered a half-step below in prestige.

In promoting Morange to chief of patrol, Kerik transferred John Scanlon to the Transit Unit, a veteran commander, perceived to be a Kelly friend and like Kelly, a former Marine. Scanlon promptly quit with a coded message. He sent a Teletype at 2100 hours, which matched the license plate number of his first patrol car.

"Once in patrol, always in patrol," Scanlon said at the time.

How good a fit Morange's MTA appointment is remains to be seen. As director of security - a position created after the Sept. 11 terror attacks - he will supervise such things as plant security and coordinate the MTA's various police agencies.

Anemone, meanwhile, will help Bratton run his well-publicized COMPSTAT, or computerized statistical initiative, which tracks crime trends, though, sources close to him say Louie will have no operational or investigative authority.

Bratton credited COMPSTAT with dramatically cutting New York City's crime rate. Anemone, with the late Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple, was its key architect, his passion and aggressiveness terrorizing scores of NYPD commanders into the semblance of accountability.

The question is whether Casale will accompany him. Bratton didn't return a call seeking comment. When this reporter called Anemone, the Dark Prince said only, "Good-bye." The word is definitely not.

Kelleher. Pat Kelleher was clean as the proverbial hound's tooth when he headed the Internal Affairs Bureau in the mid-1990s. But as first deputy commissioner, he apparently picked up something from his boss, Howard Safir: schnorring.

How else to explain that since retiring from the NYPD in July 2000 and joining Merrill Lynch at a six-figure salary, he has been parking his gold Isuzu for free in the Police Academy garage in a spot reserved for chiefs and inspectors?

Kelleher, whose car is registered to his home upstate, has a pad in nearby Peter Cooper Village. Given the conservative rate of $400 a month in nearby garages, that would total about $14,000 in savings since he left the department nearly three years ago. That's even more than the Conflicts of Interest Board hit Safir for after he went to the Oscars on Revlon's dime.

No comment from Kelleher. No return calls from Deputy Commissioner James Fyfe of the Police Academy, its Commanding Officer Diane Pizzuti or department spokesman Michael O'Looney.

Baghdad Bernie. With this week's column, we begin Our Man in Iraq series as seen through the eyes of Baghdad's newly appointed Ministry of the Interior, Bernard Kerik.

Temperature: 123 degrees, water dripping down your body, constant sweating.

Office: Inside the Republican Guard palace where it's 90 degrees and a fan blows dust.

Highlights: Removal of Maj. Gen. Makki Mahmoud al-Ani, the Baath commander of the east side of Baghdad who had several divisions in his command and was implicated in corrupt activities. His replacement will be identified today.

Discoveries: a prison or detention cell in every ministry building, including the Ministry of Labor, Agriculture and the Baghdad police academy. Mass graves of children.

Observations: more than 200 NYPD cops in military units. Many puzzled by Kelly's transfer of Chief Thomas Purtell of the Special Operations Division following the botched raid of Alberta Spruill.

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© 2003 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.