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Kelly sworn in

August 8, 1996

Some 200 of ex-police commissioner Ray Kelly's closest friends from Washington and New York attended his swearing in yesterday as undersecretary of the Treasury for enforcement. The ceremony was held in the Indian Treaty Room of the Old Executive Office Building next door to the White House.

Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, who swore Kelly in, described Kelly's work as supervising the Treasury Department's law enforcement capacities (such as the Secret Service and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Bureau), which, Rubin says, make up 40 percent of the law enforcement establishment.

Those who attended were a "Who's Who" of the law enforcement community: FBI director Louie Freeh, Drug Enforcement Administration head Thomas A. Considine and NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir. Also attending were former NYPD Commissioner Benjamin Ward, who brought Kelly to public notice a decade ago; former Mayor David Dinkins, who appointed Kelly police commissioner, and the former First Deputy Commissioner John Timoney, a Kelly protege.

Also in attendance were the flamboyant ex-detective and now-famed private eye Bo Dietl and a score of newspaper and television reporters, whose friendship Kelly has sought. For example, Daily News columnist extraordinaire Mike McAlary, who attended the ceremony, had been beating up on Kelly in print as the Mollen Commission began its work until he suffered a car accident and woke up in the hospital to find Kelly standing at his bedside.

Kelly, who started as an NYPD beat cop, served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, then obtained law degrees from St. John's and NYU and a master's degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, while serving in the department.

Printable versionWard brought him to public notice when he assigned Kelly to command Queens' 106th Precinct following the so-called "stun gun" scandal, in which cops used a stun gun on suspected drug dealers. Ward later placed Kelly in charge of OMAP (The Office of Management, Analysis and Planning), which is a launching pad for top advancement.

When Dinkins became mayor, he appointed Kelly first deputy under Lee Brown, then when Brown resigned in 1992, he appointed Kelly commissioner.

As First Dep, Kelly was credited with ending the Crown Heights riot after three violent days while Brown fiddled. As commissioner, his stocky, crew-cut figure appeared on national television following the bombing of the World Trade Center as he worked closely with the FBI in investigating the bombing.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani passed him over for police commissioner in favor of William Bratton, whom Kelly never cottoned to. One of Safir's first moves upon becoming commissioner was to call Kelly for advice. Bill Clinton to establish Haiti's interim public security force from October, 1994 through March, 1995.

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Email Leonard Levitt at llevitt@nypdconfidential.com

© 1996 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.