One Police Plaza

Too Much Irish?

January 8, 2017

Who or what is holding up Chief Terry Monahan’s promotion to Chief of Department?

 Was it something he said? Something he did? Or more likely, is Mayor de Blasio, fresh from re-election, flexing his muscle by delaying the appointment of the NYPD’s highest ranking uniformed officer to provide, to use one of the mayor’s favorite words, “diversity.”

Monahan is, of course, Irish. So is Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill. So is crime statistics guru Dermot Shea and Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce. These four guys run the joint.

Odd man out was Chief of Department Carlos Gomez, the NYPD’s highest ranking Hispanic officer. Gomez retired abruptly late last year, forgoing the traditional “walkout” as well as an explanation for his departure. This leaves the department without an Hispanic among its highest ranking chiefs, despite its being nearly 30 per cent Hispanic.

Police sources say that, although Gomez had long told O’Neill he planned to retire at the end of 2017, he felt he was treated as a figurehead and was miffed that City Hall continually made him accompany de Blasio to Hispanic events.

A quiet and dignified guy, Gomez declined comment to NYPD Confidential about his departure.

As for Monahan, the deal was that O’Neill would promote him to C of D from his current position as Chief of Patrol, where he commands the uniformed force of about 20,000. He is also credited with implementing de Blasio’s signature policy of “Neighborhood Policing,” which turns patrol cops into neighborhood problems solvers, or something like that.

Monahan’s African-American assistant chief, Rodney Harrison, was to replace him as Chief of Patrol.

 But then a snag developed. Whether the mayor objected to Monahan or sought to announce his promotion himself together with those of other top promotions is unclear.

O’Neill has dodged the issue. At last Friday’s news conference, he said the delay was part of a “process” — whatever that means.

The week before he said he was holding off making an announcement until after the New Year.

Well, Happy New Year, readers, but instead of a new Chief of Department, we had another interminable news conference at Police Plaza last Friday, with O’Neill, Shea and the mayor repeating, yet again, the department’s year-end crime declines, which the mayor attributed to — guess what? — neighborhood policing.  

O’Neill called it “a game-changer.”

The news conference also featured a love fest among elected officials who praised each other for their support of the police. Newly elected City Council Speaker Corey Johnson even praised his predecessor, Melissa Mark-Viverito as a police supporter. All that was missing was a shout-out to the Puerto Rican terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera, who Mark-Viverito honored at last year’s Puerto Rican parade. [The mayor was also on board with him but bailed at the last minute, acknowledging he had misled the media and the public about his role.]

Also present was the full top rank of the NYPD, including what looked like a minority caucus of the department’s handful of black chiefs and possible future promotes, huddling around Vanessa Gibson, the chairwoman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, seated in the front row.

Although de Blasio spouts a few sentences in Spanish at each news conference, “diversity” to him apparently doesn’t apply to Hispanics.

Whether to discover the truth or to distract us from the Russian investigation of Donald Trump, the FBI is reportedly re-examining an alleged connection between donations to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s travels as Secretary of State. Law enforcement sources say federal investigators in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and in Little Rock, Arkansas have noted what one source called an “overlay” between countries in Africa that Hillary visited, speeches made there by Bill Clinton, and subsequent donations to the foundation from people in those countries.

All this stems from former FBI Director Jim Comey’s having cleared Hillary Clinton of criminal wrongdoing for using a private email server. The line has been that Comey made that decision himself because then U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch had been comprised by meeting privately and secretly with Bill Clinton.

But here’s the question yet to be answered: Just as current U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation because he had been compromised and appointed his deputy Rod Rosenstein in his stead, what about Lynch’s deputy, Sally Yates? Where was she in all this? Why wasn’t she delegated to make the call about Hillary?

Say what you will about the national media’s coverage of Trump, where was the media while this was going on?


Copyright © 2018 Leonard Levitt