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Oops, Kelly's done it again

August 6, 2004

When the first bombing of the World Trade Center occurred in 1993, then-mayor David Dinkins was out of the country and Ray Kelly was in his first term as police commissioner. Within hours, Kelly went on national TV, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the head of the FBI's New York office, the late James Fox. Their joint appearance helped calm a shocked and frightened city and nation.

Since then a lot has changed, not the least of which is Kelly's relationship with the FBI. Now, Kelly stands alone.

The FBI accused him of not sharing information the NYPD was developing on terrorism, including investigations and undercover operations police conducted in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Most recently, the current head of the FBI's New York office, Pasquale D'Amuro, blasted Kelly for identifying NYPD detective George Corey of the Joint Terrorist Task Force in giving credit for the arrest of a key terrorist suspect in London while ignoring the contributions of other police-FBI task force members.

Early Friday, according to FBI spokesman Joe Valiquette, D'Amuro learned from Washington about new information concerning an increased terrorist alert. At 9 a.m., D'Amuro invited Kelly to the FBI's office at 26 Federal Plaza and alerted him. Later that day, D'Amuro visited One Police Plaza. A series of high-level meetings went on through the day.

On Saturday, D'Amuro and Kelly each participated in conference calls with the White House on the threat.

Sunday afternoon, Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a City Hall news conference about the threats. Absent from the conference: Pat D'Amuro.

Said Valiquette: "Pat wasn't invited."

Why not? Bloomberg spokesman Bob Lawson did not return a call for comment.

Did he or didn't he? Contrary to what he has said publicly, Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne assured ABC-TV in mid-May that the department did not seek to make changes in the network's documentary series "NYPD 24/7," an official familiar with the documentary told Newsday. According to the official, Browne stated that he sought to preview the series "not for the purpose of changing it but to know what is coming."

 

After the series' first episode - in which a lieutenant made disparaging remarks about the Fire Department - Browne maintained that producer Terence Wrong had reneged on allowing the NYPD to preview the show and make changes.

Wrong - who did not return a call yesterday - has denied there ever was any agreement and said he had briefed Browne and his predecessor Michael O'Looney on what the seven episodes contained. Browne did not return a call to Newsday.

ABC aired the series' last episode Tuesday, and it was clear to many at One Police Plaza why Kelly might not have enjoyed it. Producers had taken substantial footage of his well-publicized anti-terrorism stance, including meetings with Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence David Cohen, and former Deputy Commissioner for Counter-Terrorism Frank Libuti. However, Tuesday's episode contained scant footage of Kelly and showed none of the anti-terrorism meetings.

Said the official familiar with the documentary, "Meetings can get dull. At a certain point, you don't want to go to any more meetings."

Earlier this week Kelly was on network morning shows to discuss increased terror alerts, but not on ABC's "Good Morning America." He told ABC he had a scheduling problem, but some at ABC questioned whether he was retaliating.

Is Kelly that petty? Well, after the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association gave him a vote of no-confidence earlier this year, Kelly confiscated the building passes to Police Plaza of all non-departmental PBA officials.

Killer initiative. Killer initiative. After 12 homicides occurred during July's second weekend, Kelly ordered hundreds of detectives from narcotics, gang and warrants units into the streets in the 14 precincts with the highest number of shootings. He said his initiative would last two weeks.

Well, the numbers are in.

Prior to those dozen homicides from July 9-11, the city had averaged 1.46 homicides a day. Those 12 homicides upped the average to 1.50 per day. In the two weeks since July 13, the city registered 21 homicides for an average of 1.50 per day.

Net homicide reduction: Zero.

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© 2004 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.