POLITICAL BATTLE IN NEW YORK SWAYS SELECTION OF COMMISSIONER
New Fire Department Appointee Is Brooklyn Borough Man Office a Plum for Political Boss of That Section
NEW YORK CITY has a new fire commissioner. He is John J. Dorman, first lieutenant of political boss John H. McCooey of Brooklyn.
Personally popular and of strong physique Mr. Dorman is standard bearer of the John J. Dorman Democratic Club, a director in a bank, an organizer of a home owners’ association in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, an Elk, a Knight of Columbus, a Moose, an organization man and a “Hail Fellow Well Met.” He is 50 years of age.
Commissioner Dorman’s selection for the important post of commissioner of the fire department of the City of Yew A’ork was the culmination of one of the most acrimonious internal battles within the Democratic Party in Yew A’ork. For eight years past the commissioner had been Thomas J. Drcnnan. also a democratic district leader in Brooklyn and one of Boss McCooey’s sturdiest henchmen. Drennan, like McCooey, and Dorman, supported Mayor John F. Hylan last Fall in the Democratic primaries. Hylan lost to “Jimmy” Walker, the present mayor.
When the election was won by the Walkerites, the Tammany Hall contingent said—“Drennan must go.” Mr. Drennan hail not been over-popular either as commissioner or as a politician. Drennan however managed to save his political face by being retained through friends influential with Gov. Smith and Judge Olvany the leader of Tammany Hall. Drennan was reappointed on January 1, but it was generally known that this was done only to avoid embarrassment in his political district with his own constituency.
Finally the pressure became too great and Boss McCooey decided to take Drennan away from fire headquarters and give him another berth as commissioner of jurors in Brooklyn at $6,000 a year—a cut of $4,000 annually in pay. Drennan took it.
Then the friends of Deputy Fire Commissioner Joseph M. Hannon started a siege on Tammany Hall and on City Hall to have Mr. Hannon promoted to the post of commissioner, after eight years as deputy commissioner. Hannon had the job 99 per cent in his grasp, when Boss McCooey in Brooklyn delivered a strong ultimatum to Judge Olvany. Hannon was wanted for the place by most of the firemen and particularly by Mayor Walker whose pal and playmate he had been since childhood. Hannon was even Mr. Walker’s best man at his wedding several years ago.
McCooey however was obdurate. He told Judge Olvany that there should not he any reprisals as a result of the last election; that it was a united Democracy that was wanted, etc. Judge Olvany, despite the personal pleadings of Mayor Walker and others, let McCooey have the plum and for purely geographical and political reasons, the fire commissionership went back to Brooklyn and the friends of Deputy Commissioner Hannon, are still crestfallen over the blow and the bitter disappointment. Walker said that as a good organization man he had to respect the wishes of the party boss.
It is confidently predicted that Mr. Hannon will not remain as deputy commissioner under Mr. Dorman — not for any personal grievance, but because of the humiliation he has suffered at the hands of his party. Dorman is thoroughly “green” in the tirr service, while Hannon has been at it for years and lias a brother who is an engineer on one of the fircboats.
But a fire commissioner in Yew A’ork docs not necessarily have to know much about the job. The department is almost entirely conducted by the fire chief, on whom commissioner after commissioner place full reliance and full responsibility.