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No Longer Friends, Koch Says of Myerson

September 24, 1987|Associated Press

NEW YORK — Mayor Edward I. Koch says he told federal officials in a deposition how Bess Myerson deceived him about hiring the daughter of a judge who handled the divorce of Myerson's boyfriend, and he no longer considers her a friend.

Federal investigators are probing whether Myerson, who was city cultural affairs commissioner, hired the daughter in return for the judge's lowering alimony payments for millionaire contractor Carl Capasso.

Koch on Wednesday also for the first time backed off from calling the former Miss America, a longtime supporter whom he often escorted to social affairs, a friend.

"It would be hard to describe her that way," Koch told reporters after giving the deposition. "I've known her for 25 years, (but) I feel put upon in having been the subject of a deception."

He said that he had not talked to Myerson, 62, since April, and that she had not tried to reach him.

Koch gave his two-hour statement to Assistant U.S. Atty. David Lawrence at Gracie Mansion, the mayor's residence, for grand jury use.

The mayor later told reporters at City Hall that he covered much of the same ground as in April, when he first talked informally to prosecutors about the matter.

Koch said he did not know whether an indictment was imminent.

He said Myerson originally sent him a memo saying that Sukhreet Gabel, the daughter of state Supreme Court Justice Hortense Gabel, was hired after an elaborate screening process. The memo said Gabel was recommended by Myerson's top two deputies for her special skills.

However, Koch said, he found out later that Myerson, not her two deputies, made the decision to hire Gabel.

Myerson was forced to resign as commissioner earlier this year because of the incident.

Capasso is serving time in a Pennsylvania prison for an income tax evasion conviction.

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