In a story on May 10, Josh Gerstein noted at Politico that former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly is rumored to be on the shortlist of potential successors to James Comey for FBI Director. Gerstein writes of Kelly:
Kelly did two stints as New York City police commissioner, under Mayors David Dinkins and Michael Bloomberg. Kelly is highly respected in law enforcement and had a strong reputation with community leaders in New York. However, his involvement with the New York Police Department’s controversial surveillance of mosques and Muslims in the years after the September 11, 2001, attacks could create resistance in Congress.
A bigger problem for Kelly could be his age: 75. That would make him 85 by the end of the 10-year term for FBI directors.
As for age, Kelly seems plenty sharp in his television appearances. I enthusiastically support the idea of making him the new FBI director. I also encourage readers to buy a copy of Kelly’s book Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City.
During his time as commissioner Kelly was America’s #1 Anti-Muslim Terrorist Warrior. In a post-9/11 world, Kelly recognized the threat of radical Islamic terrorism and fought hard to protect New York. His focus on the issue would be an asset at the FBI.
Kelly was also the lead man on the NYPD’s controversial but extremely effective stop and frisk policy. In 2013 when a judge blocked the program I wrote “A misguided federal judge has temporarily gotten in the way of Ray Kelly’s efforts to protect New Yorkers. Thanks to the diligence of NYPD Commissioner Kelly, New York has a record low number of murders.”
And in the same year I called for Kelly to be named Homeland Security Director. While FBI Director is technically a step down, it’s possibly an even better fit for Kelly’s skill set.
In the end, the inept Obama administration appointed Jeh Johnson to DHS, but Kelly landed on his feet in a role as a consultant at ABC.
President Trump should make fellow New Yorker, Ray Kelly, the next FBI director.