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One golden parking perk

June 23, 2003

Calling all garages in the vicinity of the Police Academy. Be on the lookout for a parking space for a gold Isuzu, registered in upstate New York, which since July 2000 had been parked at the academy in a spot reserved for chiefs and inspectors.

Following its discovery by One Police Plaza Confidential, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said last week that the car was no longer parked there.

The car is the property of former First Deputy Commissioner Patrick Kelleher, and July 2000 is the date he retired from the Police Department.

Besides his upstate home, police sources say Kelleher maintains a pad in Manhattan not far from the academy.

At the conservative price of $400 a month for a parking garage spot, that means that for the past 36 months Kelleher saved himself about $14,400.

Before anyone starts crying for Kelleher, remember that he can probably afford the extra change. In addition to his police pension - believed to be near six figures - he is paid a six-figure salary as director of security for Merrill Lynch.

Kelleher didn't return a call seeking comment last week. Neither did Deputy Chief Diane Pizzuti, the commanding officer of the academy.

Too Close for Comfort. The day before Bill Allee's retirement dinner, Your Humble Servant received a message from Deputy Chief Mike Collins of the Public Information Office.

"The former chief of detectives asked me to tell you not to attend his dinner," Collins said, though Newsday had purchased a $125 ticket. "The chief says you might make some people uncomfortable."

Collins wouldn't say who, which got me thinking.

Could it be former Police Commissioner Howard Safir, who appointed Allee chief of detectives? Safir did have to pay back a few thousand dollars after this column noted his free trip to the Oscars, which was paid for by Revlon Corp.

Or maybe it was former First Deputy Commissioner Tosano Simonetti, who had recommended Allee as chief of detectives.

Simonetti was featured here after he retired with a tax-free disability pension at the same time that he overruled a police trial judge recommending the dismissal of a PBA delegate. Instead, Simonetti allowed the delegate to pay a $50,000 fine so he, too, could retire with a disability pension.

Or perhaps it was Bill Bratton or Bernard Kerik, both of whom have had their moments in this column. Except, Bratton's gone Hollywood and Bernie's in Baghdad.

Maybe it was Police Commissioner Ray Kelly? He's been a little miffed with this column for a while.

Then again, it could have been Allee himself. Perhaps that is why shortly after Collins' call, a check from the Columbia Association of the Police Department arrived in the mail. It was for $125. At the bottom were the words, "Refund for Allee Dinner."

The Student. Having been dismissed from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority after his sidekick Nick Casale concocted a phony confidential informant as part of a so-called corruption investigation, former NYPD Chief of Department Louis Anemone arrived last week in Los Angeles.

His new job: to consult for LAPD Chief Bill Bratton. According to Richard Aborn, another Bratton consultant, the dark prince spent last week studying L.A. procedure, attending a COMPSTAT meeting and speaking with two top L.A. assistant chiefs. No sign of Casale in L.A.

Our Man in Baghdad [con't]. Here are some of last week's highlights for former Commissioner Kerik, now Baghdad's minister of the interior:

Gave opening speech at first management and leadership class for the senior staff of the newly formed Baghdad police department.

Greeted Robert De Niro and John Vigiano, father of John Jr. and Joseph, slain firefighter and cop who died at the World Trade Center.

Suffered through 128-degree weather in Basra.

Line of the Week. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes suggesting to the The New York Times that his probe of the Brooklyn judiciary will change politics in Brooklyn. Question for Hynes: Just why was it you hired former Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden at a salary of $125,000?

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© 2003 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.