Bill Thompson’s Close Friend Really Terrible at Returning Favors

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Photo: Getty Images

Back in 1982, when Bill Thompson was a congressional chief of staff and Gracie Mansion was just a twinkle in his eye, his boss, deep-pocketed New York congressman Fred Richmond, got himself into some legal trouble. After a long Justice Department investigation, Richmond — who a few years earlier wrangled out of charges of soliciting sex with a 16-year-old boy — pleaded guilty to tax evasion, marijuana possession, and paying bribes. Facing up to seven years in prison, Thompson wrote a letter to the Brooklyn judge responsible for sentencing, pleading for Richmond — his boss, the godfather of his children, and practically part of the family — to be spared imprisonment. "By his act of resignation and withdrawal of his candidacy for re-election, he has given up a great part of his life ... This is the worst punishment that anyone could suffer," Thompson wrote, according to the Post. Actually, it would be much worse to do that and then spend a year in the slammer, which is what ultimately ended up happening to Richmond.

So now that Thompson is running for mayor, the 85-year-old Richmond has repaid Thompson's loyalty and friendship by trumpeting his support for his candidacy. No, wait, we mean Mayor Bloomberg's candidacy.


"He's not worthy of being mayor," Richmond said [of Thompson], praising Mayor Bloomberg as "a walking genius" and saying that, as city comptroller, Thompson steered the municipal pension funds poorly.

"Between his father and me, he's had everything handed to him on a silver platter."

He went on to call Thompson a "weakling" and added, "He didn't turn out to be a very good friend ... after all, I was his employer and mentor and brought him up, and when I came back to New York, he never contacted me, except for [campaign staffers asking] for money."

Just think, had Thompson maybe gotten together with Richmond for a cup of coffee once in a while, he could now possess the prized endorsement of a disgraced former congressman. It's a damn shame.

Thompson's plea for crooked pol [NYP]