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2008: In Truth We Trust ...

December 31, 2007

Here are some predictions about what we can expect for the year 2008.

January. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announces the establishment of an NYPD Truth Squad. Kelly’s spokesman, Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne, defined the squad’s mission as “uncovering newspaper editorials that distort history by praising Rudy Giuliani and Bill Bratton when they should be praising only Kelly.”

Police sources say the Truth Squad was prompted by a December 30th Post editorial. While the editorial cited Kelly’s “remarkable achievement” in reducing the number of murders to below 500, Kelly was incensed because the editorial added that the decline “followed under Giuliani’s and then-Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s no-nonsense policing…”

At an off-the-record news briefing for the in-house press, Browne called the editorial “a disgrace” and “an insult to Kelly.”

February. Federal prosecutors say their investigation of former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik has turned up evidence he entertained his girlfriends not only at his Ground Zero apartment but inside his office at One Police Plaza. Sources say the feds were tipped off by a former staffer who saw Kerik hide a picture of Judith Regan he kept on Theodore Roosevelt’s desk on days that Corrections Officer Jeanette Pineiro visited him.

March. Campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, Rudy Giuliani says of the allegations against Kerik, “Whatever personal indiscretions Bernie may have committed should be viewed within the context of 9/11. This man is a hero.”

April. Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes announces he is investigating “a high-ranking Major League Baseball official” who Hynes says, “was the key figure in the past decade’s steroids scandal.” While refusing to name the official, Hynes says, “This is the most stunning case of official corruption I have seen in my five terms as district attorney.”

May. Kelly announces that the Truth Squad has discovered 41 editorials in the Post, the News and Newsday that praise both him and Bratton. In an off-the-record briefing for in-house reporters, Browne says, “If this continues, I can guarantee there will be consequences.”

June. The FBI questions two Kerik pals, his former chief of staff John Picciano and his former lawyer Joe Tacopina, about whether Kerik entertained Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro in the police commissioner’s office. Reached in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where he is hiding out to avoid creditors, Picciano says he was asked whether Kerik kept a picture of Pirro on Theodore Roosevelt’s desk and if so, where he hid it when he entertained Judith Regan or Jeanette Pineiro. Picciano says he refused to answer, saying only, “Check the wastebaskets, dummy.” He added, “I may owe people money but I’m no rat.”

Tacopina says, “Do you have Judith Regan’s phone number?”

Asked about the latest Kerik revelation while campaigning in California, Giuliani says, “Did you say Pirro, Pineiro and Judith Regan? Hey, you’ve got to give Bernie some credit. That’s a lot of pressures to put on a single individual.”

July. Brooklyn District Attorney Hynes announces he has dropped his steroid investigation into the high-ranking Major League baseball official but says he is focusing on a possible steroids link to the NYPD. Hynes says his former chief investigator Thomas Dades has come out of retirement and discovered an “unimpeachable witness” who will testify about “systemic steroids corruption” by a former NYPD police commissioner.”

Hynes describes his witness as “probably the most credible person I have ever interviewed in my 44-year career as a public servant.” Sources in the DA’s office identify her as the 19-year-old illegitimate daughter of former baseball star Pete Rose.

Asked whether Hynes is referring to former police commissioner Bernie Kerik, Giuliani, campaigning in Florida, says, “You can’t have it both ways, guys. First he’s on steroids, then he’s entertaining all those women?” Referring to Hynes, Giuliani says, “If you look at some of his recent prosecutions, you might think he is on steroids.”

August. Kelly summons the editorial writers from the Post, News and Newsday to Police Plaza, and presents them with copies of the 41 editorials. Browne tells them: “I graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and was the Albany Bureau Chief of the Daily News. I know something about journalism and I can tell you there is something fundamentally wrong when an editorial that praises Ray Kelly also praises Giuliani and Bratton.”

September. Federal prosecutors announce they are investigating whether Kerik was using steroids during 9/11. Hynes accuses the FBI of “stealing my witness.” He says, “This is probably the most stunning act of FBI corruption I have witnessed in my 38 years in law enforcement.” He says he is focusing his investigation on a possible steroid link between the NYPD and the FBI.

October. Hillary Clinton announces that if she wins the presidency, she will appoint Ray Kelly Director of Homeland Security. She describes him as ”one of the nation’s foremost law enforcement figures.” Kelly says he is “flattered by her consideration,” but declines to say whether he would accept the position.

In an off-the record briefing for in-house reporters, Browne says, “To call Kelly ‘one of the nation’s foremost law enforcement figures is an insult. He is the nation’s foremost law enforcement figure.’”

November. Newly elected president Hillary Clinton asks Bill Bratton to head the FBI. Referring to Bratton, Kelly says of his job of Homeland Security, “It’s either him or me. “Washington is too small for both of us.” He adds that if Bratton accepts, he, Kelly, will concentrate his efforts on running for mayor in 2009.

Kerik goes on trial for income tax evasion, steroid use and abuse and the recently enacted federal crime of “using one’s office for purely recreational intent.”

December. Kerik is acquitted of all charges. He thanks Giuliani for his “loyalty,” his wife Hala for her “support,” then announces he has signed a $7 million contract with Viagra. A t.v. ad showing him taking a blue Viagra bill premiers that evening on Fox News.

Rudy Giuliani says he will run for mayor in 2009 against Ray Kelly. He says the election will be a referendum on who really reduced crime.

Asked his position on Giuliani’s so-called crime referendum, Bratton says, “I’m simply a public servant and look forward to heading the FBI.”

Hynes says he is dropping his steroid investigation because of questions surrounding his key witness’s credibility. “How did I know she was actually 28?” he says.

He adds that he, too, will seek re-election. Asked about a recent headline in this column, reading “Clueless Joe, Time To Go,” he says, “I don’t care what that lying lizard writes about me. This is probably the most important election in my more than seven decades as a human being.”


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Copyright © 2007 Leonard Levitt