One Police Plaza

Bill Bratton's Mystery Woman

May 30, 2016

Who is Beth Correia?

What does she do for the NYPD for her $175,000 consultant’s fee?

And what is her relationship to Commissioner Bill Bratton?

Here is what NYPD Confidential knows: Correia is a Los Angeles-based attorney whom Bratton met while he was chief of the LAPD (2002-2009). The department was then under a court-appointed federal monitor. Correia specialized in risk management, collaborating with the monitor and tracking problem officers.

Bratton became NYPD commissioner in 2014, when the department also was under a court-appointed federal monitor after the overuse of stop-and-frisk. He set up a similar risk-management operation to deal with the monitor and with what police officials say were thousands of resulting lawsuits.

Starting in July 2014, the NYC Police Foundation paid Correia $70,0000 as a six-month consultant under then-deputy commissioner of legal matters, Douglass Maynard. According to a source at the foundation, the order came from Bratton’s office.

Maynard is a former federal prosecutor who was appointed in January 2013. He resigned in August, 2014 — just a year and a half on the job — and returned to his former law firm. He did not respond to an email and phone call.

His successor, Larry Byrne, said it would be “categorically false” to suggest that the resignation was related to Correia’s hiring. “He introduced me to Beth and never said anything negative about her,” Byrne said of Maynard.

Although Correia works for the NYPD, she was not put on its payroll after her Police Foundation consultancy ended. Instead, said Byrne, she was placed on the city payroll with a salary not to exceed $175,000 over three years. Byrne said he did not know who decided the arrangement. 

Meanwhile, Bratton moved the risk management division to the office of First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker. 

But Correia has no office. She comes to New York maybe one or two weeks a month, Byrne said. For the past month, she could not be found at 1 Police Plaza. She did not return phone messages left at the NYPD’s legal bureau and other risk management offices.

Byrne said she “technically” reports to Asst. Chief Matthew Pontillo, the commanding officer of the first deputy’s office. “But it is not a formal relationship,” he added.

A call to Pontillo’s office was rerouted to the department’s public information office, which did not respond.

Last week, The New York Times discovered a truth most Americans, to say nothing of urban police officers, already know: the crushing and dispiriting numbers of black-on-black crime.

The Times appears to have had difficulty processing its discovery. In a 10,000-word story that began on its front-page with the anodyne headline “Unending but Unheard, The Echo of Gun Violence,” the paper meandered around for 19 paragraphs before getting to what in the news business is known as the “nut graph.”

Nationally, it reported, nearly three-quarters of shooting victims and assailants are black. Focusing on Cincinnati, where African Americans comprise 44 percent of its 300,000 population,The Times found that last year African Americans comprised 91 percent of the city’s shooting victims. The Times did not report the percentage of African American shooters.

Lower in the story, The Times quoted former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter — now an urban policy professor at Columbia University — who, The Times said, had spoken out as mayor about black-on-black crime and was then criticized for “casting African Americans in a bad light.”

“Cloaking the issue, he said, only makes it easier to tune out what amounts to ‘mass murder occurring in slow motion every day,’” The Times wrote.

The Times also quoted Ali-Rashid Abdullah, a Cincinnati outreach worker, as saying, “White folks don’t want to say it because it is politically incorrect.”

The Times is about as politically correct as you can get. Its editorial pages are unsparing of the police. There are fewer [IF ANY] editorials on the issue of black-on-black crime than on the bathroom rights of transgender people.

And, as this column has previously stated, when is the last time you read in a Times story about Ferguson, Missouri, and the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown that Brown had first tried to grab the officer’s gun?

Copyright © 2016 Leonard Levitt