After serving in the Koch administration in 1983 as Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs, her career became overshadowed by controversy. She became romantically involved with a married sewer contractor, Carl Andrew Capasso. It soon emerged that Hortense Gabel (the judge involved in Capasso's divorce case) had started socializing with Myerson. Judge Gabel's daughter (Sukhreet) was also hired by Myerson. After Gabel cut Capasso's child support payments, investigations began as to whether or not Gabel had been bribed. In April 1987, after Myerson invoked the Fifth Amendment, she was forced to resign her position with the Koch administration. The scandal became known as the "Bess Mess".Myerson, Capasso, and Gabel were indicted a year later and tried on federal charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, obstruction of justice, and using interstate facilities to violate state bribery laws, accused of conspiring to reduce Capasso's child support payments.