Forget what you think you know: There is such a thing as a free lunch. Or, at least there is when Ray Kelly stops by The Harvard Club.
The New York Times received confirmation that since the city’s police commissioner stepped into his position in 2002, the New York City Police Foundation has footed the bill for “some or all” of his meals and drinks — as well as his $1,500 yearly membership fee — at the Midtown rendezvous spot for graduates of the elite school. Kelly graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 1984.
A spokesperson for the commissioner indicates that all the comped food was “lawful” given that it was related to city business, but admitted that Kelly should have reported the fact that the foundation was covering his annual fee, too. The story was first reported yesterday on the blog NYPD Confidential, which cited a well-placed source. The blog mentioned that it believes Kelly is the first police commissioner to receive such perks.
The Harvard Club — with its chandelier-adorned interior with an austere red-brick facade flanking its outside — is exclusive to the graduates of the nation’s oldest school and their guests. The club was in the news last week when the admissions committee denied Eliot Spitzer membership on account of the sexual dalliances that resulted in his resignation.
The rules do dictate, however, that Spitzer would be allowed to join Commissioner Kelly as his guest. If it’s on government business, perhaps the former governor can save a bit of that hard-earned CNN paycheck, and let the host pick up the bill.