It's no secret that incoming New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly don't see eye-to-eye. Kelly, for one thing, is a champion of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policing, while de Blasio has strongly criticized it. So it was less than surprising that a report emerged on Wednesday claiming that Kelly might already be in talks with JPMorgan to take over as the private company's head of security. The rumor was first reported by the New York Post. Reuters and the Financial Times also reported on the rumored talks between Kelly and the company. Later on Wednesday, the NYPD denied it was true. NYPD spokesperson John McCarthy told Reuters that the story was "false," adding that Kelly was not in talks for a job with the company.
Here's the rumor, as reported by the Post: the job of head of security is currently open at the company after Thomas Higgins departed last month. Kelly, who is friendly with the company's top brass (including CEO Jamie Dimon), was reportedly in "advanced talks" to take the post, according to the report. The job change was rumored to happen before de Blasio is sworn in as mayor at the beginning of the year. As the Financial Times noted, Kelly has a history with the banking industry: before taking the NYPD job, he was head of security for Bear Stearns, now owned by JP Morgan. JPMorgan has not commented on the rumor. Based on the current needs of the banking industry, the Times outlined what it's like to be the head of security for a big financial company these days:
Security jobs at the biggest banks have become significantly more complicated in recent years, involving liaising with the Central Intelligence Agency to avert cyber attacks from foreign governments, ensuring that systems can withstand terrorist attacks and natural disasters, and tackling money laundering.
Despite the NYPD's denial of this particular report, it's expected that Kelly will announce he's headed elsewhere now that de Blasio's election is final. That's because de Blasio is more or less certain to replace Kelly. The mayor-elect is considering Bill Bratton for the job, as Reuters reported before the elections. Bratton is a well-known law enforcement official who has previously headed up the police forces in Boston and LA. De Blasio is also thinking about an inside promotion: Phillip Banks III, the NYPD Chief of Department.
Earlier this fall, Kelly was rumored to be in the running for another high-profile job as a ticket out of the NYPD: as Director of the Department of Homeland Security. That rumor, apparently started by Senator Chuck Schumer's remark that Kelly might be good at that job, turned out to be false when Jeh Johnson, the DoD's lead attorney, was selected for the position.