New York Police Department spokesman Paul J. Browne is moving on after nine years of misleading and condescending to the media, which often uses the words lying and liar in close vicinity to his name. As deputy commissioner of public information, Browne was in charge of "a system that withholds public records, plays favorites with the local press and promotes [Commissioner Ray Kelly] and the NYPD with a truth-compromising fervor," according to critics. Now he's going to handle public affairs for the University of Notre Dame.
"Deputy Commissioner Browne served with distinction as DCPI longer than any of his predecessors and at a crucial, transformative time in the Police Department's history," said Kelly in a statement. The departure of his right-hand man comes amid speculation that Kelly is being considered to head the Department of Homeland Security.
As the Bloomberg administration winds to an end, the future of the department's leadership is up in the air. "They bent over backwards in every way to make this easy," Browne told the Daily News of Notre Dame. "I had one of the greatest jobs there is as DCPI, but that was going to end by the end of the year."
Replacing him will be John J. McCarthy, who currently works as a spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg's office. As an assistant deputy commissioner, the NYPD is also bringing on fashion-world veteran Valerie Salembier, the former publisher of Town & Country and Harper's Bazaar. "I've always had an interest in law enforcement," she said.