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Ray Kelly Hasn't Decided Whether He Wants to Stay on as City's Top Cop

By Jill Colvin | January 10, 2013 7:10am

NEW YORK CITY — Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is still contemplating whether he wants to stay on as the city's top cop.

Kelly told DNAinfo.com New York on Wednesday he was unsure whether he'd want to serve another term as commissioner if asked by the city's next mayor.

“I haven’t made any decision,” said Kelly, 71, who has already held the post far longer than any predecessor in the city’s history.

Kelly went on to refute a recent report that he and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had cut a back-room deal that would keep him in the spot if she wins the race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“We never had that discussion,” Kelly said, dismissing the alleged secret pact.

Quinn has said publicly for months that she would like to see Kelly remain in the post, regardless of who is elected mayor.

But the appointment would potentially give her a leg up among law-and-order voters who have hailed the city's record-low violent crime rates under Kelly's tenure. The city logged just 418 murders in 2012 — the fewest in recent memory — and Kelly routinely polls as the city's most popular major official.

But it would also be a flash point for those who oppose Kelly's controversial tactics, including the widespread use of stop-and-frisk.

Several of Quinn's presumptive opponents, including former Comptroller Bill Thompson and current Comptroller John Liu, have already said they would not consider appointing Kelly if they win. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said any discussion of a successor is premature.

Quinn's spokesman, Jamie McShane, said in a statement that "It would be presumptuous for Speaker Quinn to offer Ray Kelly or anyone else a job because she's not the mayor.

"Having said that, she's repeatedly said that whoever becomes the next mayor would be lucky to have Kelly stay on as police commissioner," he added.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne reiterated that neither Kelly nor people close to him had been in conversation with Quinn over his future plans.

"Speaker Quinn and Commissioner Kelly have not discussed it. There was no meeting between them to discuss it. There was no discussions between them or anyone in Commissioner Kelly's 'camp,' whatever that means, to discuss it," he said via e-mail.

"There's no 'deal' or 'arrangement,'" he added, calling the story "an invention."