One Police Plaza

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Predictions For 2011

January 3, 2011

JANUARY. With the December blizzard still crippling what was once called The Greatest City in The World, Mayor Michael Bloomberg summons Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to City Hall to ask why he looked so glum at all those news conferences where the mayor was skewered for failing to clean up the streets.

“You kept avoiding the cameras, Ray,” says Mayor Mike. “You never made eye contact. If I didn’t know better, I might think you didn’t want to be seen standing at my side.”

With snow still blanketing Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island, Mayor Bloomberg announces that he is appointing Kelly temporary head of the Sanitation Department.

Bloomberg assures the public that Kelly will remain as Police Commissioner, albeit in a limited capacity, until all side streets are cleared.

Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron says a better choice to head the Sanitation Department might be Schools Chancellor Cathie Black.

Says Barron: “Because she’s so good at thinking outside the box, she might have some ideas for snow removal that Kelly hasn’t thought of.”

While snow still covers side streets in the Bronx and Staten Island, Mayor Bloomberg promises that the city will have all traces of the blizzard removed by the end of April. He adds that he hopes to be in Bermuda for Easter, which falls late this year.

With the snow removal crisis dissipating, Kelly and Browne secretly visit Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. They travel incognito, by subway, because Kelly remains skittish about driving after being involved in a three-car accident at the blizzard’s peak on the snow-slicked Gowanus Parkway in Brooklyn. On the subway, Kelly wears a black watchman’s cap. Browne wears a blonde wig. Following reports of “two suspicious looking characters,” police at the 125th Street stop and frisk them.

“See,” Kelly tells Sharpton, “this proves that we don’t just stop black people.”

Kelly then asks Sharpton’s advice on the New York Times’ lawsuit, which claims the police department routinely violated state law by failing to release public information to the public.

“You’ve violated that law since you became commissioner in 2002,” the Rev tells Kelly. “How come the Times just wised up?”

Browne says he paid the Times back by placing on the NYPD website 17 categories of misdemeanor crimes that the department had refused to post during Kelly’s first nine years as commissioner.

“And I leaked it to the Wall Street Journal,” Browne says. “The Times got scooped on its own story.”

As part of its lawsuit, the Times begins examining “lost property” statistics — misdemeanor crimes that that Browne specifically did not post on the NYPD web site. The Times also seeks to examine 911 calls to determine how many complaints the police refused to accept.

In addition, The Times begins investigating the department’s “computer glitch” — Browne’s excuse for why the department failed to post misdemeanor statistics for the past nine years.

Heading to prison for failing to pay nearly $1 million in income tax, Mickey Sherman, the Connecticut criminal lawyer who lost the murder case against Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, hosts a farewell dinner for Bill Bratton and his wife Rikki Klieman at Campagnola’s restaurant on First Avenue. Sherman says he hopes to be sent to the Cumberland, Maryland prison where former police commissioner Bernie Kerik is hanging his hat, and adds he plans to file a pro bono brief to reduce Kerik’s four-year sentence.

“I’ve always admired Bernie,” says Sherman — “ever since I met him at Campagnola’s when he was dining with Judith Regan, Victoria Gotti, Jeanette Pineiro and Jeanine Pirro — all at the same time.”

Citing the city’s Conflict of Interest Board’s Ethics Guide for Public Servants, which states that “to comply with the law, you cannot use your City position to gain any private advantage for yourself,” the Times begins investigating whether the Police Foundation paid for other perks for Kelly besides his dues and expenses at the Harvard Club.

Kelly contacts Hamilton South, who, since 2006, has been on the Police Foundation payroll, serving as a public relations consultant for Kelly at $96,000 a year. Kelly suggests South leave town for a few months.

Former Deputy Commissioner for Counter Terrorism Richard Falkenrath announces he is selling his Riverdale home. He denies the sale is related to the expansion of his next door neighbor, the Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy. The school’s expansion, Falkenrath had warned the local community board last year, could be related to another 9/ll attack.

Ignoring Browne’s warning that it may be violating national security, the Times begins investigating the demise of the police department’s “Scholar in Residence” program, which Kelly announced to much fanfare in 2008. The Times seeks to learn exactly how many times the so-called scholar, a former CIA Operations officer and forensic psychiatrist who lives in Rockville Maryland, actually came to Police Plaza.

After Kelly refuses to comment on “any aspect relating to national security,” the Times starts investigating the Counter Terrorism Foundation, the Neo-con-sounding, Washington D.C.- based think tank that paid the scholar’s $180,000 salary.

Vacationing in Bermuda, Mayor Bloomberg commissions a poll to determine whether the public has forgotten his blizzard debacle and whether any groundswell is developing for him to run for President in 2112.

Skeptical of poll results that indicate he couldn’t win election to dog catcher, Bloomberg returns to the city on Christmas Eve and decides to stroll down Fifth Avenue to learn how New Yorkers really feel about him.

Kelly and Hamilton South, whom Kelly has allowed to return to the city, accompany the mayor. “He’s pretty desperate,” Kelly whispers to South. “Maybe you can give him some advice.”

South whispers back: “My advice is that nothing can help him.”

From out of Christmases past on the corner of 57th Street, Bloomberg hears a voice he cannot see.

“Michael Bloomberg, I, too, failed to clean up a snowstorm and wanted to be President.”

“Ohmigod,” shouts Bloomberg. “It’s former mayor John Lindsay.”

“And you, Ray Kelly,” says Lindsay. “If you run for mayor in 2113, you’d be wise to remember this too.”

Copyright © 2011 Leonard Levitt