NEW YORK -- Hortense W. Gabel, the state Supreme Court justice whose dealings with former Miss America Bess Myerson are at the crux of a city scandal, resigned yesterday.
In a letter to the chief judge of the state Court of Appeals, Gabel, 74, said she suffered "serious health problems."
"Recent events have subjected me to physical and mental pressures which make it impossible for me to perform my judicial tasks in conformity with the standards I have set for myself throughout my judicial career," she said.
The state Commission on Judicial Conduct reportedly has been investigating charges of misconduct against Gabel. Gabel was not available for comment. Her lawyer, Milton Gould, said she "steadfastly denies" any wrongdoing and did not resign because she expects to face charges.
Myerson was the city's commissioner of cultural affairs until earlier this year, after it was disclosed that she had taken the Fifth Amendment before a grand jury investigating her lover, developer Carl A. Capasso.
Former federal judge Harold R. Tyler Jr., who investigated Myerson's role, found that Myerson had misused her position to influence Gabel, the judge in Capasso's divorce case. Tyler's report said Myerson befriended Gabel and her daughter, Sukhreet, whose chronic unemployment worried her mother.
Myerson hired Sukhreet Gabel as her special assistant. Less than three weeks later, Gabel cut Capasso's family support payments from $1,850 a week to $680 a week.
Capasso, a major city contractor, is serving a four-year sentence for tax evasion.