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NYPD Officer Who Lobbied for Bratton's Job Chosen to Be Second-in-Command

By Murray Weiss | February 6, 2014 7:48am
 The NYPD's First Deputy Comissioner Rafael Pineiro will stay on under William Bratton.
The NYPD's First Deputy Comissioner Rafael Pineiro will stay on under William Bratton.
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NEW YORK CITY — An NYPD official who openly competed with Bill Bratton to succeed Ray Kelly as police commissioner will remain in the NYPD's second highest position, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Commissioner Bratton ended weeks of speculation about the fate of First Deputy NYPD Commissioner Rafael Pineiro, 64, by asking him to remain in the post he has held since September 2010.

Bratton made the announcement at a meeting of the NYPD's Hispanic Society, which also lobbied de Blasio to select Pineiro, who is the department's highest-ranking Hispanic.

Pineiro, who hails from Spain, made a surprising and dramatic push to succeed Kelly after the mayoral election by showing up at an Hispanic conference in Puerto Rico and approaching then Mayor-elect de Blasio. He asked him to consider him for the top police spot.

In subsequent weeks, he met with de Blasio several times for formal interviews, but the mayor ultimately chose Bratton, who has successfully led several major police departments including New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

It is not out of character for Bratton to keep a rival in his cabinet. He has a history of bringing his harshest critics into his inner circle and seeking their input on thorny issues, frequently turning them into valued policy shapers.

It is not clear whether there was also any political pressure from the mayor or City Hall to keep the 43-year veteran, whom de Blasio highly praised even as he selected Bratton to take the helm of New York's Finest.

With the fate of Deputy Commissioner Pineiro now resolved, insiders will focus on what is next, if anything, for Chief of Department Philip Banks, who was also a candidate to replace Kelly. 

Rumors have swirled that de Blasio is considering Banks as commissioner of the city's Department of Correction, putting him in charge of the jail system. It is not clear if Banks would want to leave the NYPD, even to run an entire city agency.