One Police Plaza

Two stars shine brightly at Jay

June 17, 1996

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani may have dismissed Police Commissioner William Bratton and his First Deputy Commissioner John Timoney, but their stars still shine over academia.

Timoney is a featured speaker at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice-sponsored International Crime Conference in Dublin, Ireland (where Timoney was born), which is occurring as you read this.

"His relationship with City Hall is his business," sniffs college spokesman Rob Pignatello, who points out Timoney is a John Jay graduate and its 1995 alumni of the year.

Bratton, another John Jay favorite, was also to have spoken at the conference but canceled out, citing business commitments - no doubt preparations for his $20,000-a-pop speechmaking racket to begin this fall.

The college recently awarded him an honorary degree and made him this year's commencement speaker. His wife, Cheryl Fiandaca, had served on its faculty before the money ran out to pay her and she was forced to become a TV star.

The reason the city's pre-eminent law enforcement-oriented public college has not run away from either Timoney or Bratton, despite their dismissals by the mayor, explains Tom Repetto of the city's Citizens' Crime Commission, is that Bratton is viewed by some these days as the nation's foremost national figure in law enforcement. His fingerprints touch even last week's solving of the alleged one-man crime spree that left one woman dead, two others unconscious in the hospital and a fourth beaten to a pulp. The suspect, John Royster, was identified through a palm print from a previous arrest for fare-beating, a policy Bratton implemented.

That policy, of arresting people for low-level criminal acts, evolved from the writings of two academics, James Q. Wilson and George Kelling. Unknown to the general public, every recent NYPD commissioner has had his favorite academician, leading to cliques and rivalries. Bratton's predecessor Ray Kelly's was Richard Moore of Harvard. His predecessor Lee Brown's was Kelling's former partner Robert Wasserman, who after falling out with Kelling over philosophy and money, accompanied Brown to Washington when Brown became the nation's so-called drug czar.

Kelling, a professor at Boston's Northeastern University, is now regarded as Bratton's academic interpreter. Known to some as "Six-figure" Kelling, he made a killing in law enforcement consulting contracts with the Transit Authority. Bratton served as chief of the transit police during part of this time. In a recent article, Kelling compared Bratton to the Greek philospher Plato.

Wilson, meanwhile - the former Harvard professor who is considered the Babe Ruth of academicians in the law enforcement world - was recently in town, toasting Bratton's successor, Howard Safir.

Roots. With Mayor Giuliani having discovered Commissioner Safir's Jewishness, Safir recently attended a Sabbath service of the Shomrim Society of Jewish police officers, at the invitation of its president, Stuart Gang. Participants say the city's first Jewish police commissioner - as Giuliani never tires of telling Jewish audiences - talked about his Russian-Jewish heritage and his grandparents' trek through Ellis Island to the United States where, Safir told the Shomrim members and their families, "You have to be better to be equal."

Safir considered himself so equal when he served as fire commissioner that he avoided attending functions of the organization's Jewish firefighters.

The charmer. Chief of Department Louis Anemone was at City Hall Friday smiling at and shaking hands with at least one person he disliked. Such aberrant behavior is believed to stem from the charm course Anemone recently completed with a management consultant. But Anemone warns that his new-found politesse is wearing off. This apparently follows the spate of rumors, perhaps ill-founded, that he's on his way out.

So long, Mongo. Gerald McKelvey, the former Newsday court reporter whose legal counsel has been sought by prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges fearing reversals of their rulings, resigned this week as a special assistant to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, whom he'd served for the past 10 years in a capacity no one quite understood. McKelvey, known to intimates as "Mongo" for reasons too obscure to explain in fewer than 5,000 words, will join the public relations firm of Howard Rubinstein. There, he will benefit from what is known as the McKelvey addendum to the Miranda warning, which holds that in addition to having the right to remain silent and the right to counsel, a defendant with enough money has the right to hire a high-priced PR man.

©1996 Newsday, Inc.Reprinted with permission.