One Police Plaza

Winners, losers in mayor’s exit

May 22, 2000

Here are some of the winners and losers from Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's decision to withdraw from the U.S. Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Biggest Winner: Rudy Giuliani. Assuming his remarks Friday were not solipsistic drivel and that unlike his election promises of 1997, he means it about reaching out to the city's minority communities, the mayor will have discovered two life lessons. First, health and family are more precious than career. Second, kindness, compassion and forgiveness reveal strength, not weakness.

Other winners: Newsweek magazine. The magazine stated last week that Giuliani would not run for the Senate. Rudy called the report "absurd" and "a lie."

Bill Bratton. Having hooked on with Hillary, he stands to land a Washington law-enforcement job if the Democrats win in November. Also keeps his New York City options open for possible mayoral run in 2001.

Howard Safir. Can remain police commissioner another 19 months. Lucky for him because who else will hire him?

Your Humble Servant. Nineteen more months to chronicle this bird.

Biggest Loser: Public Advocate Mark Green, who would actually have to be elected mayor. No one even close.

Other losers: Former NYPD First Deputy John Timoney, who was widely rumored to be Green's choice for police commissioner. He will have to keep his bags unpacked in Philadelphia, where he's now police commissioner, for at least another year.

Judith Nathan. Won't get to be a senator's wife. A newspaper report yesterday said she ended up in the hospital after crying her eyes out.

Chief Mike Scagnelli. Will have to wait for his revenge on Lt. Don Henne. As head of City Hall's security, Henne zapped Scagnelli for supposedly crashing the Yankee Day parade celebration.

Since then, Scagnelli, who mounts on his office wall the heads of wild animals he's shot, has been hiding out in the Chief of Detective's office, waiting to get Henne's head.

Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk. Here now, in ascending order of difficulty, are some suggestions for how the "different" Rudy can remove those barriers with the city's non-white communities.

l. Accept that dinner invitation David Dinkins offered after you started screaming at him about Crown Heights. Besides learning something, you'll probably get a good meal.

2. Order the Police Department to stop wasting time, money and manpower in rebutting every line of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Commission report on the department. The three-volume response includes a page on "Terminology Errors" that reads :

"Street Crimes Unit" should be "Street Crime Unit."

"U.S. Attorney for Manhattan" should be "U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York."

"U.S. Attorney for Brooklyn" should be "U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York."

"'Force' should be replaced with 'Department' with reference to the NYPD."

"'Transportation Bureau' should be replaced with 'Transit Bureau.'"

3. Accept City Council Speaker Peter Vallone's call for an outside police monitor.

4. Accept former U.S. Attorney Zachary Carter's recommendations for some federal oversight.

5. Fire the four cops who killed Amadou Diallo.

6. Fire the police commissioner.

7. Meet with the Rev. Al Sharpton. (No one said this would be easy, Rudy.)

The Old Rudy. Before we forget the old Rudy, just a few more details of how he muscled NYC & Company, formerly the Convention and Visitors Bureau, into hiring former press secretary Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas to a $150,000-a-year, three-year contract as its head.

After her predecessor, Fran Reiter, announced her decision to leave in mid-August, having been forced out by chairman Tim Zagat, the agency began searching for a replacement.

One person Zagat approached was Jennifer Raab, the "issues" person in Giuliani's 1989 mayoral campaign and currently the chairwoman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Though she didn't campaign for the job, political sources say Raab "expressed an interest." But when the mayor expressed his interest in Lategano-Nicholas, who had unsuccessfully sought a job with City University, Zagat ran away from Raab.

Howard Rubenstein, the agency's spokesman, says Lategano-Nicholas' "good professional relationship with the mayor and with City Hall was certainly a factor" in her getting the job.

Nonetheless, to ensure the agency's board voted correctly, now Deputy Mayor Tony Coles was dispatched to monitor the vote. Neither Coles nor Raab returned phone calls.

©2000 Newsday, Inc.Reprinted with permission.