The LaGuardia Community College has released some interviews with the late New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who died earlier this month, in which Hizzoner tees off on some of his old political rivals and colleagues.
In one of his more caustic comments, Mr. Koch offers a devastating appraisal of Stanley Simon, who was the Bronx borough president from 1979 to 1987. Mr. Simon resigned, was convicted in a federal racketeering case and was released from prison in 1991, after serving a little over two years.
As borough president, he cast two votes on the Board of Estimate, the powerful citywide body that was later abolished because it violated the principle of one-person, one-vote.
“Stanley Simon was a fool and a simpleton,” Mr. Koch is quoted as recalling, “and you could always count on his vote. I mean, all you had to do was to promise him to upgrade his personal private bathroom at Borough Hall, and he’d vote for anything.”
Apparently Mr. Simon thought Koch was joking, but according to the report, Koch wasn’t. Given the chance to revise his statements and recollections for the oral histories, Koch kept his remarks about Stanley Simon intact.
Thoughts from Ed Koch on a ‘Simpleton and a Fool’ [NYT]
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.