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Oh, the Trials and Expenses of Rudy's Love Life

December 3, 2007

Was the NYPD so tardy in paying vendors that Rudolph Giuliani had to pay detectives with funds from obscure city agencies to protect his goumada, or, as they say in the NYPD, his “goom?”

The answer appears to be yes.

The NYPD in the Giuliani years was late, very late, in paying its bills. If you don’t believe that, just ask the owners of the car rental businesses who leased vehicles to the NYPD.

It’s an open secret that, when it came to paying, the department delayed and delayed and delayed. According to a knowledgeable source, the department took so long to pay, at least one car rental outfit nearly went bust.

Payments had apparently been so late under former commissioner Howard Safir — “the greatest police commissioner in the history of the city,” as Giuliani called him — that when Bernie Kerik came in, he complained it was impossible to get anything done at One Police Plaza.

Kerik couldn’t even get someone to sign off on repairing dilapidated stationhouses. So he and his sidekick, Chief of Staff John Picciano [Pitch to his friends], took matters into their own hands.

First, Kerik sacked Joe Wuensch, Deputy Commissioner for Management and Budget, whom Kerik blamed for these troubles.

Then Pitch started contracting out on his own. A result was the four hi-tech, $50,000 doors that proved too heavy to install at headquarters and that current commissioner Ray Kelly maintained had no paperwork to justify their purchase.

[By the way, one of Kelly’s first moves upon returning as commissioner in 2002 was to rehire Wuensch as his chief of staff.]

OK, so Rudy may be on the level here when it comes to paying for his detective detail. Why he buried the payments so deep in the city bureaucracy that it took nearly a decade to discover the them is another issue. Was it to protect his goom? Or, as this reporter suspects, was it to conceal how much money the detectives in his detail were making?

Remember that, under Giuliani, the police department stopped the longtime practice of fully disclosing the quarterly list of its overtime earners. The reason: the top earners were all members of Rudy’s detail.

As late as 2002, a year after he had left office and was earning millions from Giuliani Partners and from giving speeches around the country, Rudy had no fewer than 12 NYPD detectives protecting him and his family at tax-payer expense. Besides protecting the goom — now Mrs. Rudy Giuliani, III — they protected his estranged wife Donna Hanover, his mother Helen and his two children, Andrew and Caroline.]

The number of detectives supposedly protecting the out-of-office ex-mayor exceeded that of the current Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

When Bloomberg finally cut off Giuliani, Kelly transferred many of Rudy’s detectives to assignments far, far away from their homes. Four detectives from Staten Island were assigned to Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.

Only a call from Giuliani to Bloomberg caused Kelly to back off. They were reassigned to the office of then Staten Island District Attorney Bill Murphy.

But Giuliani isn’t the only public official to abuse the use of a detective detail. Until the Albany scandal involving Comptroller Alan Hevesi’s wife, Kelly used his detail to chauffeur his wife and on occasion one of his grown kids.

[Don’t for a moment believe the denials of Kelly’s spokesman Paul Browne – known in this column as “Mr. Truth.” — that this never occurred.]

Kelly even provided a one-man detective detail for his old friend, former Staten Island borough president Guy Molinari.

Back in 1993, it was Molinari who arranged a secret meeting for Kelly with Giuliani in a plea to keep his job. When Kelly returned as police commissioner in 2002, Molinari was no longer borough president.

That didn’t stop Kelly from providing him with a detective detail — Jimmy Reyes, who had protected Molinari when he was in office.

But Kelly is more sensitive to the media than Giuliani. Kelly ended the detail three months later — the day after this column disclosed it.

Time To Go, Joe. [Cont.] It wasn’t enough that the case of former FBI agent Lindley DeVecchio blew up in Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes’ puss because his key witness mob moll lied.

Last week in another case, Brooklyn State Supreme Court Judge Robert Kenneth Holdman dropped the last remaining criminal charge against Lt. Stephen Wong and slammed Hynes and his office for what he called “outrageous” and “inexcusable” conduct.

Holdman stopped just short of accusing Hynes’ prosecutors of lying to the court.

Wong had been arrested with two other cops in April 2006, and charged with covering up a botched prostitution raid by breaking into a massage parlor so the cops could recover a surveillance tape, supposedly showing they had conducted an improper raid.

It turned out prosecutors had lost the tape and known about the loss for months before disclosing it.

Wong’s veteran criminal attorney Marvyn Kornberg said it best: “He [Hynes] wants to indict cops so he can get the publicity. He doesn’t check to see if he has a case.”

Crooked Cop of the Week. Former New York City cop Joe Torrado, 32, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in jail for helping his drug-dealer brother smuggle cocaine and marijuana from Mexico to the Bronx. Torrado pleaded guilty in March to his role in a narcotics trafficking ring headed by his brother, Edwin.

In 2005, federal agents seized some 135 kilos of the ring's cocaine, hidden behind the false wall of a truck in the Bronx. Torrado resigned from the NYPD's transit bureau in November 2006.

Two weeks ago the Nassau County District Attorney announced the arrest of ex-Queens cop, Hubertus Vannes, who allegedly sold guns he stole from the 110th precinct, where he had worked.

Three weeks ago narcotics cop James Calderon was arrested for allegedly running a Bronx-based cocaine and heroin ring. Federal Drug Enforcement agents and the city’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s office developed the case.

On Oct. 31, Glen Smokler, a Manhattan cop from the 30th precinct, was arrested in Suffolk County, L.I., accused of being part of a multi-million dollar marijuana ring that smuggled drugs from Canada. Suffolk county police made that arrest.

Question of the year? Does the police department’s Internal Affairs Bureau still exist?

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Copyright © 2007 Leonard Levitt