Reversal of Fortune

Is 'Stone Cold Rudy' Down for the Count?

But another city fixture has had no such trouble rushing to the defense of City Hall, specifically Starstruck Safir, who is probably in front of Moomba right now trying to get Matt Dillon's autograph. Buried in the final paragraph of a March 23 Timesstory on Safir's trip to the Oscars is a defense of the flying flatfoot by none other than William Fugazy, described as a "friend of Mr. Safir's and the chairman of the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations." Fugazy stated that "no one could be more concerned about relations with ethnic communities" than Safir.

The absurdity of Fugazy rushing to Safir's defense is monumental. Fugazy is a convicted felon who pleaded guilty in 1997 to perjuring himself during a bankruptcy proceeding. In addition, one of the federal government's leading Mafia witnesses once described the 74-year-old businessman as a mob "associate" during federal court testimony. It is incredible that Safir chooses to pal around with this skell (according to a Postgossip item, Fugazy and high- living Howie have golfed together at Westchester's exclusive Winged Foot country club). Imagine if the Internal Affairs Bureau discovered that a lowly patrolman had such a criminal for a friend. An affiliation like that tends to radically alter a cop's career trajectory.

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