There was lots of whispering back when he was running Bloomberg News that current New York mayor and possible presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's company was not always a fun place to work.
Loyalty or "death"
There was Bloomberg’s equivalent of a loyalty oath. You never actually had to go through some weird ceremony like cutting your finger and signing in blood that you’d never consider another job. But, unlike other companies that recognized the fluidity of the job market, if you left Blooomberg News, you could never come back. You were dead to them. Officially, permanently dead.
Then there was Michael Bloomberg’s raunchy mouth. It wasn’t considered a “big deal” downtown, on Wall Street, years after New York’s midtown commerce had gotten wise to the aspirations of their women and stopped insulting them with sexual allusions – at least to their faces.
Language most foul
If you want a sense of the kind of foul-mouthed vocabulary the Neanderthal financial community was using in the 1980s – and long, long afterward – I recommend that you read “Liar’s Poker,” a book by Michael Lewis that describes the kind of Bad Boys Club that Salomon Brothers was at the time. Michael Bloomberg is a Salomon Brothers alumnus.
So it wasn’t entirely surprising that not one, not two, but three former women employees have accused the current Mayor and reputedly wannabe third party Presidential candidate of improprieties. The way three different women told it, he stepped over the line. (See all the URLs below)
Did I say “stepped over?” How about the notion that he took a jet-powered flying leap over it?
Kill the baby
The best-known case involved Sekiko Garrison, a top sales executive, who made the mistake of telling Michael Bloomberg her good news. She was pregnant.
Were congratulations in order? Well, you’d think so. But instead…
“Kill it,” Ms. Garrison claimed Michael Bloomberg said.
Huh? What? Ms. Garrison said she was so amazed she asked him to repeat what he said.
“Kill it,” he repeated.
A legal complaint filed by Ms. Garrison said Bloomberg didn’t stop there. He added, one assumes angrily, “That's great! Number 16!” Evidently, he was referring to 15 other women who had interrupted their work at Bloomberg News to take maternity leave, as was their right under the law.
Flat out insults
The hostile workplace that Bloomberg created for Ms. Garrison and others didn’t start with pregnancy. In fact, some of the verbal battering she took from Bloomberg began when she was engaged. According to a story reported in New York Magazine:
"’What, is the guy dumb and blind? What the hell is he marrying you for?’" Bloomberg is alleged to have asked Sekiko Garrison…when he saw her engagement ring. A week later, she maintains, he said, ‘Still engaged? What, is he that good in bed, or did your father pay him off to get rid of you?’"
Bloomberg denied Ms. Garrison’s claims. But some of his denials were, uh, problematic, given that the shocked Ms. Garrison eventually began taping their conversations. So three years later, Bloomberg “settled” the dispute for an undisclosed but “substantial” sum and an agreement by both parties never to talk about the incident again.
End of story? Not quite.
The weird polygraph test
you're not allowed to see
In the course of the Garrison hoo-ha, the mayor took a polygraph test. Now, given that polygraph tests aren’t admissible in many kinds of court cases, that would elicit a yawn…except:
Except that Michael Bloomberg declared he “passed” the test – whatever “passed” means.
Fine, but if he really "passed," why is he refusing to share the results of the polygraph test – or his trial-related deposition – with the press? You’d think a guy who had evidence of his innocence would want to spread the evidence around. Sound a bit weird to you? Me too.
The “other” women
And, how about this:
Two other women also brought suit against Bloomberg. One of the suits also alleged rape by a senior Bloomberg officials. Clever Bloomberg lawyers got one suit thrown out on legal technicalities. But the second one is even scarier. Suddenly, the woman’s husband, who also worked for Bloomberg, was accused of embezzlement. By some strange coincidence, that civil case against Bloomberg “went away.”
So big deal? So, if he’s president, what does this matter? Well, consider how it mattered to his mayoralty.
The Mayor of all the bullies
Michael R. Bloomberg vetoed legislation passed by the City Council aimed at protecting students and staff in New York City schools from bullying and harassment on the basis of multiple criteria, including gender identity, race and sexual orientation.
Hey, you wanna do some gay bashing? Or maybe some race baiting?
Doesn't look like a President Bloomberg would give a damn.
URLs worth checking out: