Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has “cleared the air” with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly after Playboy published an interview in which the city’s top cop agreed with the suggestion that the Democratic mayoral contenders were “full of shit.”
Mr. de Blasio, who was one of those Democratic candidates, said today the two had spoken yesterday and were “moving forward,” despite the harsh words.
“I’m not going to get into the details of the conversation,” said the mayor-elect, speaking with reporters after an enthusiastic National Action Network rally in Harlem. “But it was a good conversation and we cleared the air and we’re moving forward.”
But although reporters tried multiple times to get Mr. de Blasio to elaborate on the conversation, he refused repeatedly.
“I think the most important thing is where we’re going,” he said in response to a first question. “We have an important transition to do in terms of the NYPD, in terms of the administration as a whole. I’m convinced that Commissioner Kelly will work very productively and positively with us. I had a good conversation with him yesterday. And I have a clear agenda I want to implement. And I’m certain that he help us to make sure that there’s an orderly and effective transition at the NYPD.”
Asked what “cleared the air” meant in the context of the conversation, Mr. de Blasio dodged. “Just exactly what I said,” he responded, simply. “Cleared the air.”
Asked about Mr. Kelly’s assertions in the article that the mayoral hopefuls once pretended to be his friends–before turning on him during the election–Mr. de Blasio said: “I have worked with him for over 20 years. [I] respect him, [but] obviously disagree with him on some core issues. I’m certain that we’re going to have an effective transition.”
Pressed one last time if Mr. Kelly had apologized during their conversation yesterday, Mr. de Blasio diligently stuck to his talking points: “I feel very good about the state of our relationship as we approach this transition. And I’ll know we’ll be able to work effectively together.”
Mr. de Blasio has been a staunch critic of Mr. Kelly’s implementation of the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk tactic and has vowed to replace him as police commissioner in the incoming administration.