Will Mayor Bloomberg Hold His Tongue in Court Tomorrow?


Mayor Michael Bloomberg is likely the first New York mayor appearing in court as the victim of a crime. More often than not they've filled the role of witness, and on occasion defendant — one past mayor, Ed Koch, was even questioned by a future mayor, then United States attorney Rudy Giuliani. More or less constant across the board were the respective mayors' temperaments on the witness stand, bristly to say the least. Add to that the current mayor's near-visceral inability to take personal criticism or disloyalty, and there may be fireworks. Doug Muzzio, of Baruch College's School of Public Affairs, on a possible Bloomberg pitfall:

He believes that he is right. He never looks back. They've got to hope that the mayor in his arrogance says something that damns him.

The "they" here is the defense team for John Haggerty, the political consultant charged with stealing $1 million of Bloomberg's personal money during his last campaign. They may be heartened to know that a look back through past mayoral court appearances, compiled by the Times, is full of telling anecdotes on how their showdown with Hizzoner may turn out: The time that Mayor Lindsay "retorted icily" to a court official's question; Mayor Walker's "injured pride, humility, indignation, rapier wit, and defiance" when confronted in a municipal corruption case; Mayor Koch "unfazed," despite sending several men to prison with his testimony. Either way, the court reporters are bound to show up with popcorn for the show.

Pride may be a problem when Bloomberg testifies in court [Reuters]
When Hizzoner Takes the Stand, Things Can Get Testy [City Room/NYT]