Bloomberg Stands by Ray Kelly and Spokesman Paul Browne
CITY HALL — Mayor Michael Bloomberg again defend embattled Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and his chief spokesman Monday, praising the officials in glowing terms amid a firestorm of controversies including an anti-Muslim video shown during police training and a rape allegation against Kelly’s son.
“He’s the most scrupulously honest person I know,” Bloomberg said of Kelly at an unrelated press conference in Queens, where he again insisted that the commissioner did “exactly what he should do” by turning his son's case over to the Manhattan District Attorney.
"This is not his investigation,” he said.
In addition to refusing to answer questions about that case, Kelly has been under fire for his participation in the controversial film, “The Third Jihad,” a movie that portrays Muslims in a negative light that was shown to more than 1,000 police recruits.
His spokesman, Paul Browne, also drew fire for the video for claiming that Kelly didn't cooperate with filmmakers and that interview clips used were taken from old footage. A day later, he changed his story, remembering that Kelly had in fact been interviewed for the film, on his recommendation.
“Oh come on,” Bloomberg said Monday when asked whether Browne had a credibility problem in light of his reversal.
“With the exception of [mayoral spokesman] Stu Loeser, I would argue Paul Browne is far and away the best,” he said.
Browne, he continued, "gives you the facts, always, as he knows them at the time. And later on, if he finds the facts that he gave you were wrong, he’s not shy about standing up and correcting himself."
“We’re lucky to have him,” he said.