Ferraro said he appealed to the mayor to stop acting "hostile" toward Gates and urged council members not to criticize the chief. He said he called Urban League President John Mack to ask that prominent critics in the black community "lower the rhetoric."
Last Friday, Ferraro's pleas for quiet were threatened when Assemblywoman Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) notified council leaders that she intended to lambaste Gates at a council meeting. But when she arrived at the council chambers shortly after the start of the meeting, Waters found the doors locked. The council had sped through the day's agenda and adjourned uncharacteristically early.
Ferraro said it was "a coincidence" that Waters was unable to publicly voice her outrage.
Waters held a different view. "They shut down on me," she said.
Ferraro was unsuccessful in getting the mayor's office to join his peacemaking efforts. Knowledgeable City Hall sources said that Bradley and his aides conducted "business as usual" last week in his ongoing efforts to oust the chief.
Ferraro also found that his proposal for a special election received little support in council chambers. The deal was seen by many city politicians as a ploy to save Gates' job by defeating the proposed two-term limit.
"That was clearly the chief's strategy on this," said one City Hall source. "He selected an option which attempted to force an early special election, when the turnout would be very low, when he had a chance of winning, when the hue and cry over the Christopher Commission recommendations would have died down and when he could stand up in December and say, 'Hey, people want me back. I'm not going anywhere. I've been vindicated.' "
Such a deal was unacceptable to Bradley and several council members.
After it became evident that Ferraro did not have the votes for a special election, he and Riordan paid a visit to the mayor early last week. According to sources familiar with the meeting, the mayor said he would not support a special election unless it was tied to "a fixed, firm retirement date" by Gates.
During the meeting, it also was intimated to the mayor that if he made Police Commission appointments that were acceptable to Gates then the chief would be prepared to go ahead with a date, the sources said.
The meeting set off a flurry of activity last week: First, Bradley announced that he had nominated to the Police Commission retired Assistant Chief Brewer, the highest-ranking black in the history of the LAPD. Both Bradley and Brewer said that Gates must agree to step down for the good of the city.
"The chief had to feel that (Brewer) . . . would have his eyes glued to the chief's performance, that there would be numerous opportunities for the commission to take him on over the next many months and that he would be under a lot of pressure and a lot of scrutiny," said one City Hall source.
At the same time, Gates saw his support sinking all around him. Prominent business organizations began endorsing the Christopher Commission report, including the recommendation that Gates retire.
Late last week Gates had a private luncheon with Cook in the 51st-floor offices atop the Arco building. Cook declined to discuss the one-on-one lunch, which ran more than an hour and involved a range of topics that included a suggestion that Gates should consider retirement, City Hall sources said.
Last Friday morning, labor leader Robertson called an extraordinary 7:30 a.m. meeting with five council members--Yaroslavsky, Michael Woo, Ruth Galanter, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Rita Walters--to discuss Gates.
"I wanted to see if there were some council people (who would) support the Christopher Commission recommendations," said Robertson, who earlier called on Gates to resign. He also sought "a signal down the line to the Police Commission that they would not be sandbagged by the council" if they made a move on Gates.
Gates turned his attention later that day to drafting a letter announcing his retirement. An initial draft did not include any timetable, said sources familiar with the document.
Later that day, Gates decided on his own to insert April, 1992, in the letter. "He realized that, because of this continuing barrage of questions and speculation, it would be better to set a date in the interest of the city and the Police Department," said Jay Grodin, the chief's attorney.
Said Ferraro: "I think it was time. We probably all felt there was a time to make a change and move on to greener pastures. I'm sure there will be greener pastures for Daryl."
Choosing the New Chief
\o7 Daryl F. Gates' announced retirement becomes final only when a formal application to the Board of Pension Commissioners is approved. Meanwhile, the process of selecting a new chief, estimated to take six or seven months, is getting under way. The first step may be public hearings to ask people what qualities they want in a chief. Next will be distribution of a brochure describing the job to candidates. Here is the way the process works:\f7