Is Bruce Teitelbaum, the mayor’s chief of staff, sending out peace feelers to acquitted Assemblyman Dov Hikind?
During Hikind’s two-year fight against federal bribery charges, the Brooklyn Democrat more than once laid the blame for his prosecution at Teitelbaum’s feet, though he publicly never cited him by name. Teitelbaum vigorously denied any involvement in the case, but made little effort to hide his disdain for Hikind, who once tried to get him fired.
But on a recent “Talkline,” Zev Brenner’s Jewish radio show Saturday nights on WMCA, Teitelbaum radiated a hopeful, if determined, goodwill toward the lawmaker, who represents Flatbush and Borough Park.
“Life is a continuum,” he mused when asked about his once warm relationship with Hikind. “Who knows? Maybe at some time in the future I’ll have a close relationship with him again.
“I always try to look to the future,” Teitelbaum said. “Maybe one day Dov and I might be on this show together. I look forward to it. If that could happen, I think that would be terrific.”
Would Hikind bite? A call to his office seeking comment was not returned.
Meanwhile, however, Hikind claimed an important milestone in his post-acquittal effort to reconstruct his campaign war chest. Attendees at his $3,000 per plate fund-raiser last week in Borough Park included Gov. George Pataki (who darted in and out), Sen. Alfonse D’Amato and Attorney General Dennis Vacco — all key Republicans Hikind has backed and all running for re-election. Democrats on hand included Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, state Comptroller H. Carl McCall and Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer.
In a press release, Hikind claimed 100 supporters laid out the hefty cover charge to attend the dinner. That would add up to $300,000. But one observer there said the crowd he saw numbered significantly less.
Among notable no-shows: city Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who Hikind had supported, and Teitelbaum’s boss, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.Giuliani declined to join the many other politicians who called to congratulate Hikind after he was found not guilty in July of receiving bribes, noting that two close associates indicted with Hikind had been convicted of bribing him.