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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wayne Barrett (Village Voice, 2005) and Others, on Mike Bloomberg's Payoffs

Journalists and the general public know that Mike Bloomberg does not want anyone to criticize him about anything. In fact, he'll do anything to avoid accountability. The internet is full of articles about his behavior towards pregnant women who worked for his company Bloomberg LLP, and discriminatory comments against Mexicans, Blacks, and other ethnic groups. Below is an article published in August 2007, and another published by Wayne Barret in the Village Voice in 2005.

Money always finds a pocket.

New York's Mayor Bloomberg in sex lawsuit
By Toby Harnden in Washington,

A possible presidential bid by Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, could be threatened by new details of a sexual harassment lawsuit that alleged he said "kill it!" to an executive who told him that she was pregnant.

Apart from being accused of suggesting that Sekiko Sakai Garrison abort her baby, he also allegedly said to her: "Great! Number 16!", an apparent reference to the number of pregnancies among his staff.

The billionaire businessman is also claimed to have pointed out a woman to Mrs Garrison, and said: "If you looked like that, I would do you in a second."

The suit accused him of referring to Mexican clients as "jumping beans" and saying of a female worker who was having trouble finding a nanny that "all you need is some black who doesn't even have to speak English to rescue it from a burning building".

Mr Bloomberg, 65, settled the lawsuit in 2000. A gag clause on both sides was part of the deal but details of the allegations made against him were leaked yesterday to the Associated Press.

The mayor was sued in 1997 by Mrs Garrison, a former sales executive with his company Bloomberg from 1989 to 1995, when she was dismissed.

He vehemently denied all the claims and did not admit any wrongdoing in settling the case for an undisclosed sum.

His spokesman yesterday declined to comment about the fresh details.

During his first mayoral campaign in 2001, aides said that Mr Bloomberg, a divorcé, had passed a polygraph or lie detector test in which he had denied Mrs Garrison's allegations but the chart of the actual test has never been released.

Mr Bloomberg was said by the Associated Press to have admitted in a deposition that he had uttered the words "I'd do her" about Mrs Garrison and other women.

He has denied for a decade ever using the words "kill it", though Mrs Garrison is alleged to have a tape of an answering machine message from Mr Bloomberg saying he had heard she was upset about pregnancy comments, stating: "I didn't say it, but if I said it I didn't mean it."

Shut Your Mouth
Big-Bucks Bloomy buys corporate silence in six sex and race cases

Wayne Barrett, Village Voice, published: October 25, 2005

The problem with Mike Bloomberg's money isn't limited to the $175 million he'll soon have officially spent in two campaigns to tell us what he wants us to know about him. It's the untold millions he and his company have paid in secret settlements and other deals to make sure we never learn his whole story. The Voice has tracked a half-dozen ex-employees of Bloomberg's closely held communications company who have wound up in nasty disputes with him-—on allegations ranging from maternity discrimination to sexual harassment to racial comments—and who will not discuss his conduct, often because of confidentiality agreements they have signed. These cases, which go beyond typical corporate fodder, raise questions about a side of him unseen since he became mayor. While some of these complaints have been resolved during his mayoralty, no new ones like them have emerged involving public employees. However, the timing and substance of the cases suggest that Bloomberg might never have become mayor had all the facts surfaced during the 2001 election. The silencing of these former staffers merits scrutiny before this election. Here's the list:

Sekiko Garrison: While her case of gender discrimination got a great deal of attention in 2001, culminating in a shrill television commercial aired by Democrat Mark Green, Bloomberg brushed past it by issuing a public denial of its core charge. One of several women who alleged in court documents that they'd "lost lucrative portions of their sales territory, were denied business opportunities and received inferior bonuses" once they got married or had children, Garrison claimed that Bloomberg told her twice to "kill it" when she informed him she was pregnant. He also added, according to Garrison: "Great! Number 16," a reference to the number of company women on maternity leave.

Garrison's attorney, Neal Brickman, would not even acknowledge that the case was settled, only that it was "resolved" in the early fall of 2000 and that he was not permitted to discuss it. He said Garrison, who now lives in Seattle, wouldn't discuss it either. Asked if he thought the case might have ended because Bloomberg was simultaneously announcing his interest in a possible 2001 mayoral race, Brickman told the Voice: "It certainly may have been, though it was never mentioned. This case went from one that was remarkably hotly contested to not hotly contested overnight." News reports in 2001 indicated that Bloomberg personally settled the case for a "substantial" sum pegged at "six figures."

Bloomberg was deposed in the case but his testimony has never become fully public due to the settlement. While his lawyers disputed the comments Garrison attributed to him, she retained a tape of a message he left for her both apologizing for the remarks and denying he made them. Had the case gone to trial, the bizarre recording would've been played in court. Bloomberg conceded during his deposition that he had used the expression "I'd do her" about Garrison, though he insisted that what he meant by the expression was that he would have a personal relationship with her. He reportedly tried to walk out of the deposition when asked if the Debbie who "did" Dallas in the infamous porn movie had a "personal relationship" with the entire city.

Mary Ann Olszewski: Her rape charge against a top Bloomberg L.P. executive was even more explosive than the Garrison allegations, and it too surfaced in part during the 2001 campaign. As the Voice revealed then, Bloomberg testified in the case that he would not believe the allegation was "genuine" unless there was "an unimpeachable third-party witness," adding that "there are times when three people are together." While Olszewski's attorney David Mair threw me out of his office in 2001 when I asked him if there was a settlement in the case, and Olszewski refused to comment, every indication is that Bloomberg "resolved" this time-bomb case as well.

His 272-page, 1998 deposition—in which he also said "my own morals would require" corroboration in rape cases generally and "I don't have an opinion" about whether false rape claims "are common"—would have never become public had not the Voice obtained it from a confidential source. Asked if he'd said he would like to "do that piece of meat" or that he'd "do her in a second," he only partially corrected the quotation: "I don't recall ever using the term 'meat' at all," he testified.

What has become clear since 2001 is that Olszewski, who was described by her attorney as unable to pay $14,769 in court costs, leased a new blue convertible BMW in Florida on February 19, 2001, the day before the case was finally dismissed in Manhattan federal court. She also moved into a $5,000-a-month Miami luxury condo on February 26, and on March 1 incorporated her own hedge fund, which she operated out of the unit. A year later, she paid $750,000 to buy another apartment in the same building. She still has the BMW.

At the final hearing in the case in October 2000, Judge Robert Patterson raised the question of a settlement, saying he was "sure the parties have discussed it from time to time," though he said he had no "insight" into "why, at this stage, there would be any hope" of one. The judge expressed concern that "there be justice here and not be some technicality standing in the way of justice"—an apparent reference to the fact that he'd dismissed the case once already because Olszewski's prior lawyer had not filed response papers on time. Also speaking sorrowfully about "any possible injustice" to Olszewski, Patterson issued a December 12 ruling giving her 28 days to file papers vacating his dismissal. Incredibly, after trying for a year to overturn Patterson's default judgment, Olszewski's new attorney Mair never filed the motion, even when Patterson extended the deadline. Mair refused again recently to discuss why, presumably because it would have required him to answer questions about a settlement.

Bloomberg made his first political speech at a GOP event on February 14, just as Patterson's deadline expired, and hired media whiz David Garth, who'd elected Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani, the same day Patterson dismissed the case. Bloomberg took a leave from his company to run two weeks later. Had Mair filed for and won the vacate order, the case would've gone forward throughout the mayoral campaign, highlighting revelations that Bloomberg's company had conducted a lengthy investigation of Olszewski's sex life while simultaneously launching a joint defense with the accused rapist and even getting him a lawyer. The absence of any sex harassment procedures at the company until after the Garrison and Olszewski cases were filed would've added to the political embarrassment.

While the company denies it paid any settlement to Olszewski, the testimony of one Bloomberg-tied attorney in a related 2002 disciplinary proceeding was carefully parsed to leave open the possibility that Bloomberg, or an entity acting in his name, settled it. The Bloomberg campaign declined to answer questions about it.

Alan Feltoon: The best evidence that Olszewski won a bonanza was that Feltoon, who wound up settling two suits involving Bloomberg L.P., dropped the lawyers who'd been representing him for two years and hired Mair a month after the Voice story about his handling of the Olszewski case appeared. An architectural contractor who did major work for Bloomberg for five years, Feltoon was fighting a Bloomberg lawsuit charging that he'd defrauded the company. Soon after Feltoon switched to Mair in November 2001, the federal judge in the case ordered a deposition of Bloomberg for January 11, 2002, just days after he was inaugurated.

A few hours before the scheduled deposition, Bloomberg L.P. settled the case on terms both parties refused to reveal. Then, in September 2002, Mair resurrected the issues by suing another Bloomberg architectural firm, contending that it had conspired with the mayor's company to illegally copy millions of dollars' worth of Feltoon's work. While Bloomberg L.P. wasn't named in the second suit, a New York Observer story cited experts and evidence predicting that Bloomberg would again face the witness stand. The Observer reported that Bloomberg's company was not named because the settlement of the earlier case barred Mair and Feltoon from suing it directly. Feltoon recently e-mailed the Voice that he "settled" this case in late 2003 "and was satisfied with the resolution," refusing to spell out the details.

Pointing to the damaging impact of Bloomberg's testimony in the rape case, news stories in 2002 noted that "a deposition of Bloomberg would seek to lay bare in intricate detail the inner workings of the top echelons" of his company. The stories added that he might also have been asked about the sexual harassment charges of a former employee sued in the same case, Diane Winger, who claimed that Bloomberg had made explicit comments about her body and encouraged her to spend time alone with him. Winger's husband, Joseph Menno, another Bloomberg executive named in the civil suit, wound up pleading guilty to criminal charges of defrauding the company.

However, testimony in the Olszewski case, available to Mair, revealed that Winger was fired after she filed her harassment complaint and that Bloomberg then personally ordered the internal probe of Menno's work that eventually led to his prosecution. When Menno pled guilty, Bloomberg L.P. settled its suit against him and Winger.

Susan Friedlander Calzone: The witness whose Olszewski deposition detailed the sequence of events in the Winger case, Calzone was one of the highest-ranking female executives at Bloomberg L.P. for years, in charge of administration. By her own testimony, she orchestrated the company's handling of these three and other sexual harassment cases, personally participating in the initial debriefing of Olszewski's alleged rapist and managing the corporate handling of Garrison and Winger. She testified about Olszewski wearing "a sheer white blouse without a bra" to work, stated that she had "no reason not to believe" the executive charged with raping Olszewski, and offered an extraordinary account of the voice mail message she heard Bloomberg leave for Garrison: "He may have said sorry. I can't remember the words. You know, blah, blah, blah, blah, come see me." Ironically, Bloomberg's campaign spokesman Stu Loeser says that Calzone is now in charge of Women for Bloomberg, which has hosted several highly successful events for the mayor in 2005. Yet two sources told the Voice that Calzone herself went to a lawyer to discuss a possible suit against Bloomberg L.P., charging that when she returned to the company after a maternity leave in 2001, she was displaced by a male executive and not given her full portfolio of responsibilities. Since Bloomberg was on leave and only intermittently involved with the company in 2001, his role in these decisions is unclear.

Calzone did not sue, worked for months at campaign headquarters, and was then seen repeatedly at City Hall, sparking news stories that she might become a deputy mayor. She was even paid $9,000 by Bloomberg's committee in December 2001 to help with the transition. Instead, she returned to the company and remained there until early this year, when news stories again noted that she was leaving it to join the campaign.

But just how Bloomberg has kept this high-six-figure executive with young twins happy is a financial mystery. She appears three times on the 2005 filings of Bloomberg's committee for a skimpy total of $1,099, all as reimbursements for expenses she advanced the campaign, starting in June. One of her close friends, ex–Bloomberg executive Susette Franklin, says she has met and talked with Calzone a few times this year, even attending a Women for Bloomberg event. "I would've assumed she was paid by the campaign," Franklin says. Calls to Bloomberg's main headquarters connect to her voice mail, but Loeser could not explain how she was paid.

Elizabeth DeMarse: Marketing director at the company, DeMarse hit the headlines in 2001 when she confirmed that she'd compiled a 32-page pamphlet of offensive Bloomberg quotes given to him on his 50th birthday. She told New York magazine that Bloomberg "says this stuff"—a collection of sex and race gags—"to customers and new hires and anyone who comes into the office. These are his lines. Everything in there I've heard him say many times. I sat next to him for seven years." One quip was that "if women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they'd go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale's."

But then Bloomberg lawyers called her and told her not to "answer any questions about the company or Bloomberg himself." According to news accounts at the time, she said she was restricted by a confidentiality agreement she signed as part of a severance package. Bloomberg said his lawyers were doing "what they're supposed to do" and told reporters not "to waste your time asking" that he allow DeMarse to speak out. In fact, the heat got so intense DeMarse left town for Florida during the general election campaign, sources said. The concern was not just the racy booklet, but that DeMarse had reportedly been a witness to the "kill it" comment in the Garrison case, as well as to Bloomberg's conflicting voice mail call.

Burton Waddy: A top black executive at the company until June 2005, he left deeply disturbed about comments he regarded as racial that were allegedly made by Bloomberg. Three people who have talked to him about these comments say that he reached an apparent settlement with the firm not to discuss the remarks. Peter Noel, a former Voice reporter who is now a freelance writer and radio host, says that he conducted taped interviews "three years ago" with Waddy and Harold Doley III, a high-ranking black employee of the 2001 Bloomberg campaign. Noel says that they told him "damaging" stories about Bloomberg, but that he could not discuss the specifics because Waddy had subsequently asked him not to.

Doley confirmed that he and Waddy had talked to Noel on tape, but Waddy referred the Voice to his attorney, Denise Bonnaig, who would not answer any questions. Doley said Waddy was "bellicose" about these Bloomberg comments until this April, when he was "shut down." While two of these sources did indicate what some of these comments were, neither would go on the record about them for fear of hurting Waddy. That's why the Voice will not print any of these alleged remarks.

The six sagas here are both unsettling and incomplete. The confidentiality blanket that covers them gives each episode a powerfully suggestive aura short of definitive fact, but the cumulative picture that emerges is one of a corporate Bloomberg awash in unusual personnel problems either connected to his own unhinged repartee or his company's insensitive policies.

As mayor and candidate, Bloomberg often lays claim to the company's progressive initiatives, telling gay groups, for example, about its enlightened health care coverage for unmarried spouses. In the same spirit, he has to accept responsibility for its dark side, depicted in the handling of these individuals. He created Bloomberg L.P., still owns 72 percent of it, and is said to periodically involve himself, ever so discreetly, in its big business decisions. It remains a window into his inner world, however clouded, and part of the portrait of him every voter should know.

Research assistance: Jessica Bennett, K. Emily Bond, Ben James, Lee Norsworthy, Xana O'Neill, and Nicholas Powers

November 26, 2001
Bloomberg a Man of Contradictions, but With a Single Focus

Throughout most of his 59 years, there have been two distinct sides to Michael R. Bloomberg, the mayor-elect. Those who know him well say that New York City should expect to see plenty of both.

There has been a jocular, brash and egocentric Mr. Bloomberg. There has also been a thoughtful, earnest and selfless Mr. Bloomberg. Interviews with his friends, relatives and business associates suggest that each version is authentic and irrepressible and that one is never too far removed from the other.

Together they make for a man who can create a horrible scene shouting at you one moment and politely ask you to lunch the next; a man who revels in fame and celebrity but who is known to cross his eyes at the idle chitchat of high society; a man who espoused the virtues of school prayer during the campaign but who threw a holiday party last December with seven deadly sins as its theme and a gigantic bed covered in purple satin.

This is Mr. Bloomberg. At his Park Avenue offices. At a charity board meeting. At a black-tie event. He impatiently jingles the contents of his pocket. He breaks away from one conversation to pick up on another. What did you say? he asks. No, he would rather not sit down. Want a laugh? He loves an audience. Prepare to blush. Want a confidant? His eyes will not leave yours. There is no better listener or friend.

''He wants it all,'' said Beverly Sills, a friend who recruited Mr. Bloomberg as a board member of Lincoln Center, where she is chairwoman. ''The man has heart, he really does. He is touched by all kinds of things that will always take you by surprise.''

Matthew Winkler, who runs the news operation at the mayor-elect's company, Bloomberg L.P., says he has been pushed and pulled, coaxed and cajoled by Mr. Bloomberg over the last 11 years, sometimes pleasantly, sometimes not so pleasantly. He is one of thousands.

''He uses everything that he takes in and is able to leverage it,'' said Mr. Winkler. ''He is opinionated, adventurous and fearless, but also a team player.''

Most of Mr. Bloomberg's days begin with a telephone call to his 92-year-old mother, Charlotte. ''He checks in on me,'' said Mrs. Bloomberg, a widow who still lives in Mr. Bloomberg's childhood home in Medford, Mass. ''These days, he skips some days.''

Those missed days are more than compensated by a deluge of inquiries from Mrs. Bloomberg's friends ever since her son's election victory. Some former neighbors are contacting Mrs. Bloomberg for the first time in 40 years. Her son is famous now, she said, not just rich.

''Nobody has said, 'I'm surprised,' '' she said. ''Whether they are or not, I can't tell you.''

Mrs. Bloomberg said her son reminded her a lot of her brother, Louis Rubens, who ran a successful grocery business. ''He had stick-to-it-ness,'' she said. Years ago, her own mother remarked on the similarities between the two men.

''If he liked it, he worked hard at it,'' Mrs. Bloomberg said of her son. ''But he had to find something he wanted to do.''

And his wilder side? ''I don't know where that came from,'' she said, chortling. ''That is not from my family, no.''

Mrs. Bloomberg suspects some of it can be traced to the family of her husband, William, who was Mr. Bloomberg's biggest admirer, but died in 1963 when his son was in college. (Reminiscing with her mother at an Upper East Side restaurant, Mr. Bloomberg's sister, Marjorie Tiven, protested at this suggestion, saying her father was not around to defend himself.) William Bloomberg was a bookkeeper at a dairy most of his life and also sold mutual funds.

''His father thought that Michael was the most wonderful person on earth and anything he did was O.K.,'' Mrs. Bloomberg said. That made it clear who was the disciplinarian, she said, pointing to herself. And also who was the main worrier, she said.

William Bloomberg would not sleep nights when his son took the car and stayed out late on a date. There was no formal curfew, just an understanding that the freedom to roam would not be abused.

''I remember lying in bed around midnight, and then you could hear when he drove in the garage, you could hear a certain noise,'' Mrs. Bloomberg said. ''I would say, 'All right, he is home.' His father wouldn't go to sleep until Michael was home.''

Antics and Academics

As a boy, Mr. Bloomberg had a passion for snakes. He would rummage through the thicket of trees near their home, smuggle them upstairs into his bedroom in knotted socks and thoroughly terrify his little sister in the process. She soon learned to flee the house when he was transferring his catch from the socks to more permanent quarters.

''There were incidents of snakes escaping,'' recalled his sister, Ms. Tiven. '' 'Have you seen my snake?' he would ask. I remember once looking through the kitchen door and seeing this large snake, several feet long, slithering down the steps.''

But when the time came to stop the mischief, the snakes went away, and the young Mr. Bloomberg would dutifully perform chores for his Aunt Ruth. She was retarded and lived in a nearby town with his paternal grandfather. She was always in need of a helping hand. And, as his sister and mother tell it, there was none more capable than his.

As for the snakes, Ms. Tiven said she was pleased those many years ago to see her brother's attention eventually turn to things like the debate team and the slide-rule club -- even to horses and tobacco.

''He loved horses and he loved the social activity at the stables as well,'' she said. ''There were older guys. I am sure there were cigarettes -- I am only speculating.''

When he got to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Mr. Bloomberg would while away some afternoons drinking beer with his fraternity brothers at Phi Kappa Psi and taunting the prep-school girls who played field hockey behind his apartment. It was sometimes raucous and always in good humor, one roommate recalled, even if the girls did not take kindly to it.

''We had a good time,'' Mr. Bloomberg said of his fraternity years later in an interview with the student newspaper at Johns Hopkins. ''We drank a lot of beer. We didn't study very much. I burned the candle at both ends.''

But truth be told, after the nuisance-making, Mr. Bloomberg would often slip away to a job at the faculty club parking lot, where he attended cars in exchange for dinner and $35 a week. And later at night, when few of his friends would notice, he escaped to the computer lab, where he did his most serious studying for his engineering degree -- and eventually got good enough grades to gain admission to the business school at Harvard University.

''He always gave the impression that he was just one of the guys hanging out, that he wasn't there working until 2 or 3 in the morning,'' said Dr. Jack Galotto, an internist from Potomac, Md., who was one of Mr. Bloomberg's roommates and fraternity brothers. ''But we caught him with the goods, lugging those giant three-foot-wide computer printouts.''

As a married man in the 1980's, Mr. Bloomberg would quarrel with his wife, Susan Brown, about his long stretches away from home both building his business and enjoying the after-hours social life it afforded him. He would go home in the evenings, spend an hour or two with his two daughters and then typically leave for dinner.

''They were not getting along because their lives are not compatible,'' said Emma Bloomberg, 22, the elder of Mr. Bloomberg's two daughters. ''My mother doesn't want to be social all of the time. She was perfectly happy to curl up with a book and not go out all week.''

But after their divorce in 1993, Ms. Brown moved back into his Manhattan townhouse on East 79th Street with Emma and her sister, Georgina, for the better part of a year. The two have remained the closest of friends; later Ms. Brown and her boyfriend volunteered for Mr. Bloomberg's campaign. They still celebrate Thanksgiving and most Jewish holidays together at Mr. Bloomberg's country home in Armonk, N.Y.

''I think I remember we met on a hot dog line one lunchtime,'' Ms. Brown said, kidding, in a videotaped birthday tribute one year to her ex-husband. ''Michael was pushing his way to the front and he rather annoyed me. I think I put my foot out.''

Emma Bloomberg was so struck by her parents' friendly parting that she wrote about it in her college applications.

''My parents' divorce was one of the best things that ever happened to me,'' said Ms. Bloomberg, who graduated this year from Princeton University. ''It made my relationship with both of my parents stronger. My parents are best friends. Nobody understands that until they actually see it.''

Tom Weisel, who skis with Mr. Bloomberg, said the way he handled his divorce surprises people.

''What you see is what you get, 100 percent honesty,'' said Mr. Weisel, who attended Harvard Business School with Mr. Bloomberg and who once owned a condominium in Utah with him and two other skiing friends. ''The guy has accomplished a lot and is still doing things and re-inventing himself. I am sure there is a lot of jealousy about that. He is an aggressive guy, and if you don't like that, you don't. I happen to like it a lot.''

Larger Than Self-Made Life

Mr. Bloomberg, the aggressive guy, is perhaps best known for turning adversity into opportunity in the business world.

He created Bloomberg L.P., a multibillion-dollar information-services company, 20 years ago after being fired as a partner at Salomon Brothers and being handed $10 million in severance.

He was pushed out of Salomon when it merged with the Phibro Corporation. But he had been sidelined two years before the merger (significantly, he was put in charge of the firm's information services), after losing a battle of politics and personalities.

According to some accounts, Mr. Bloomberg was an insufferable know-it-all at Salomon who had trouble getting along with some fellow managers; Mr. Bloomberg's version is somewhat different. He says his rivalry with one partner in particular, Richard Rosenthal, ultimately did him in.

''Determined, and armed with that great advantage lack of knowledge gives one, Rosenthal was a winner,'' Mr. Bloomberg wrote in his autobiography, which was published in 1997, after Mr. Rosenthal's death.

It is the entrepreneurial success story that followed his departure from Salomon that Mr. Bloomberg promoted in the autobiography, ''Bloomberg by Bloomberg,'' and that provided a ubiquitous backdrop to his mayoral campaign. One of Mr. Bloomberg's favorite literary devices during the drafting of the book was adding exclamation points and quotation marks, according to Mr. Winkler, who wrote the book with him.

''He has always been his hero, I think,'' Mr. Winkler said of him, adding, ''He is not that introspective. He doesn't spend a lot of time analyzing himself.''

Like those in any good fishing story, some details of Mr. Bloomberg's personal tale seem to have grown larger than life. In one small example, Mr. Bloomberg recalls starting his new company in a one-room ''broom closet of an office'' on Madison Avenue. Tom Secunda, one of his original partners, says it was small but most definitely not that small. It had three rooms.

During his run for mayor, some of the book's more serious exaggerations, omissions and score-settling became a political headache for his campaign as it sought to head off possible political repercussions.

Ambiguous references to Mr. Bloomberg's lack of service in Vietnam and his company's dealings with apartheid-era South Africa made headlines and were exploited by Mr. Bloomberg's opponents. But there were also other potentially worrisome passages, particularly Mr. Bloomberg's blunt reaction to the plane crash that killed Mr. Rosenthal, his Salomon rival.

''Was I happy or sad?'' he wrote. ''After all the years of bitter fighting, I am ashamed to say that the right word was ambivalent.''

Mr. Winkler said some of Mr. Bloomberg's ''anecdotes and comments'' were deleted in the final draft of the book, but others remained. In one, there is an unflattering mention of a college friendship. Dr. Galotto, his fraternity brother, knew of the friendship and said he was taken aback at Mr. Bloomberg's ''unpleasant'' description of the friend, who was not named in the book. ''He was good friends with him, no matter what he said in the book,'' Dr. Galotto said.

Outside his business success, this aggressive and larger-than-life side of Mr. Bloomberg has had a variety of lesser-known manifestations.

Mr. Bloomberg is an amateur pilot who has walked away from crash landings of both a helicopter and an airplane, the latter in 1995 at Westchester Airport while trying to give a nephew a bird's eye tour of Manhattan. He is an inveterate and competitive socialite who last year threw a holiday party in London for his European employees that, besides the purple satin bed, featured drag queens, massage tables and entertainers waving wads of cash and shouting, ''Money -- ain't it gorgeous?''

The Sunday Times of London called it ''Britain's most extravagant staff Christmas celebration,'' and the event's planners, Fisher Productions, said it required a staff of 600 people, including 6 fire officers, 40 security guards and paramedics at three first-aid stations.

Mr. Bloomberg is an exacting and sometimes crass boss. Former workers at Bloomberg L.P. say he has been known to greet some new employees with an off-color joke or remark and he demands absolute loyalty from those around him. He is riled when people talk of quitting his company, and when they do quit, they are typically required to sign an agreement that ensures their silence.

When one former employee, Elisabeth DeMarse, spoke with reporters during the campaign about a book of jokes she compiled for Mr. Bloomberg's birthday several years ago, including some sexist and bigoted ones attributed to him, she was repeatedly warned by Mr. Bloomberg's lawyers to keep quiet.

Did Mr. Bloomberg really say those things? Some of them, without a doubt, several current and former employees said. Did he really mean them? Absolutely not, they said, suggesting he almost could not help himself after spending so many years using the vernacular of Wall Street traders.

Over the years, Mr. Bloomberg's foul mouth and locker-room humor have been topics of discussion among some of those who work around him. On more than one occasion he has been gently prodded to tone it down, apparently with some success.

''I think he is different today,'' said Susan Friedlander Calzone, who has worked 16 years for Mr. Bloomberg and is the chief administrative officer at his company. ''I think society has changed as well.''

Was Ms. Calzone ever offended by Mr. Bloomberg's off-color remarks? ''I was the third class of women at Dartmouth,'' she said. ''I wouldn't be where I am if it hadn't been Mike giving me the opportunity.''

Mr. Bloomberg is also an impatient taskmaster who can make a scene when service is poor at a restaurant and who, according to Ms. Sills, will cross his eyes during dinner party conversation or shoot ''from the hip'' with his own uncensored remark. He also needs nudging to stay awake during the opera, she said.

Emma Bloomberg said, ''I remember as a little kid, saying, 'Oh, my God, Dad, don't make a scene, be quiet, be quiet,' when we were waiting for a table.'' But, she added, ''now that I have grown up, I see if I am paying for a meal, it should be the way I want it.''

Several years ago, when he decided to write his autobiography, Mr. Bloomberg became wildly irritated at a most basic publishing requirement: the imposition of a deadline. Even though the manuscript was finished on time, according to Mr. Winkler, Mr. Bloomberg locked it in his desk drawer and refused to hand it over for no apparent reason other than he did not like being told what to do.

''This is my book!'' Mr. Bloomberg was heard screaming during a telephone conversation with a representative of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons.

Quiet Acts of Kindness

But for every story about Mr. Bloomberg as the pushy center of his universe, there is one about Mr. Bloomberg as the unsung purveyor of good deeds -- the good friend, the responsive boss, the generous philanthropist and the loving son and father.

He does not want to move into Gracie Mansion, the mayor's official residence, because he is essentially a sentimental homebody, said his daughter Emma.

''Seventy-Ninth street is his home, and it is where he has the family memories,'' Ms. Bloomberg said of his five-story limestone townhouse near Central Park. ''We still have stuff there. Our rooms are still basically the same. I don't think he would change that.''

Mr. Bloomberg became an Eagle Scout at the unusually young age of 12 and was so intent in his pursuit of good deeds that his parents' friends would line up ''to borrow Michael,'' his sister, Ms. Tiven, recalled. His mother said he had completed his requirements to become an Eagle months before receiving the award, but was told he had to wait until he got closer to his 13th birthday for the official ceremony.

Mr. Bloomberg was writing checks to the N.A.A.C.P. as a college student in 1963, even when he was parking cars to cover his own living expenses. Dr. Galotto, his former roommate, said he once spotted one of the checks on Mr. Bloomberg's desk about the same time Duke Ellington visited the campus and was denied access to one of Mr. Bloomberg's favorite establishments.

''I said, 'What the hell are you doing that for, Mike?' '' Dr. Galotto said. ''And he said that we all need to be treated the same way, that if something bad can happen to someone who is black, it can happen to someone because they are Jewish or whatever ethnic strain.''

Mrs. Bloomberg said her son became sensitive to prejudice at a young age. There were not many Jews in their neighborhood, and the only way his father was able to buy their house in 1945 was to have an Irish lawyer purchase it first and then turn around and sell it to him. The owners had refused to sell to a Jew, Mrs. Bloomberg said.

This is the same Mr. Bloomberg who gave away $100 million to charities last year, and who, according to a close friend, Morris W. Offit, had to be talked into having his name put on buildings at Johns Hopkins, though he was the university's biggest single donor and had served as the chairman of its board.

Shortly after Sept. 11, when three of his employees were killed at the World Trade Center, Mr. Bloomberg sent his private jet to France for the vacationing parents of one of the victims and repeatedly called the couple to check up on them.

''Michael tried to give us his home number, and I said I didn't want it,'' said Stephen Alderman, whose son, Peter Craig Alderman, was among the Bloomberg employees killed. ''That was going above and beyond.''

And despite a personal fortune in the billions, homes in Vail, Colo., London and Bermuda, this is the Mr. Bloomberg who could think of nothing more compelling to do with his time than run the City of New York for the next four years.

''Don't ask me,'' said David Garth, Mr. Bloomberg's top campaign strategist. ''If I had $5 billion, I would probably be on an island somewhere.''

Michael R. Bloomberg

BORN -- Feb. 14, 1942, in Medford, Mass.
FAMILY -- Divorced from Susan Brown; two daughters, Emma, 22, and Georgina, 18
HOME -- Town house on East 79th Street, Manhattan; also has residences in Armonk, N.Y., Vail, Colo., London and Bermuda
EDUCATION -- 1964, B.S. in engineering, Johns Hopkins University; 1966, M.B.A., Harvard University
EMPLOYMENT -- Salomon Brothers, 1966-1981; Bloomberg L.P., 1981-2001

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