The New York Socialite vs. The NYPD

Toni Goodale goes after Ray Kelly for not solving her jewelry robbery

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Players: Toni Goodale, a Manhattan socialite married to James Goodale, a First Amendment lawyer who famously defended The New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case at the Supreme Court; New York Police Department.

Opening Serve: Five or six pieces of jewelry worth $200,000 went missing from their apartment in January of 2010.  According to the New York Post, late last year she ran into Commissioner Ray Kelly at a holiday party (Goodale is also close friends with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg) and complained that the jewels were never recovered. Kelly passed on the complaint to a deputy who, the Post reports, put the squad commander at the local precinct "in the hot seat."

Return Volley: With theft still unsolved and the rank-and-file cops feeling the heat, they opened up to the Post. A local detective told the Post, "It was, 'We want to punish you because the jewlery wasn't found,' rather than, 'We know you did this or that wrong and want to ask about that'...They've been beating them up for months on this."

What They Say the Fight's About: Goodale says she only wants to find the true jewel thief. Goodale wrote in an email to the Post, "My intent has never been to get anyone in trouble. Just to be clear, I never complained to Ray Kelly. Commissioner Kelly and I saw each other over the holidays at a party, and I briefly mentioned that I had been robbed." Mr. Goodale notes that the couple has since hired a private investigator to handle the case because the cops "have done nothing, it seems to me. If they haven't solved the crime, they ought to solve the crime."

What the Fight's Really About: According to the latest FBI report on Crime in the United States, only 18.6 percent of property crimes in the US, such as burglary, get solved, so the odds are against Goodale ever getting her jewelry back. And, as the Post notes, "there were no specific allegations that the detectives mishandled the case," this is about a dynamic any viewer of The Wire is familiar with: "It's the chain of command, baby. The shit always rolls down hill."

Who's Winning Now: This one's a tough call. While Ray Kelly and the NYPD certainly aren't the winners, Goodale's robbery case is still unsolved. Still, despite the unflattering Post story, the department's probably more likely to solve her case than, say, a stolen car in Queens.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.