New York

Commissioner Ray Kelly: NYPD heard about the 9/11 trials the day they were publicly announced


Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told an auditorium full of Young Republicans yesterday that the NYPD was never consulted by the Justice Department about the 9/11 trials. In a speech to the New York Young Republican Club, Kelly said that neither he nor Mayor Bloomberg were told that the trials were going to take place here in New York until the morning of November 14th, the day that the rest of us found out.

The Washington Times is speculating that Kelly was signaling that the trial might not take place here after all because he mentioned this article in the course of his talk.

Of course, the Washington Times is apparently under the impression that local community boards get to veto federal trials. Which, of course, they can’t, but they really, really want to, and they’re not very happy with Mayor Bloomberg right now.

You may remember Thursday’s heavily-attended (at least by reporters) meeting of Community Board 1, at the end of which the Executive Committee resolved to submit a resolution to the full Community Board to draft a letter to President Obama and AG Eric Holder requesting that the trial not take place within their boundaries, and in fact be moved to Governor’s Island instead . The Board is concerned about the impact Kelly’s security plans will have on neighborhood life and businesses.

Kelly initially said he was going to do a feasibility study on Thursday night, but rapidly concluded that the island would not make an appropriate venue.

It’s unclear what relationship that conclusion has to Mayor Bloomberg’s assessment that moving the trial was “one of the dumber ideas” he’s ever heard, but it is certain that the feasibility study had not yet taken place on Thursday, when Bloomberg made that comment to local newspaper publishers.

This mightily displeased a number of local politicians, including New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Silver, along with Congressman Jerrold Nadler, State Senator Daniel Squadron and City Councilmember Margaret Chin, released a statement Friday morning calling Bloomberg callous and insensitive.

Community Board 1 are expected to vote on the Executive Committee resolution on Tuesday.

Kelly, who generally tries to avoid being seen as partisan, also patted himself on the back for the role the low crime rate played in turning New York into the “new Disney.” ‘The Oldest Young Republican Club in the Country’ was, predictably, grateful.

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