Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mob put Giuliani hit to a vote

The bosses of New York's five crime families voted in 1986 on whether to whack then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani (left), according to a story by Murray Weiss, Patrick Gallahue and Alex Ginsberg of the New York Post and a story by Scott Shifrel and Helen Kennedy of the New York Daily News. The motion was defeated by a 3-2 margin.

The vote came to light as FBI records were made public in connection with the murder trial of former FBI supervisor R. Lindley DeVecchio Oct. 24.

Vincent "the Chin" Gigante (Genovese family), Philip "Rusty" Rastelli (Bonanno) and Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo voted against assassinating the federal prosecutor who secured convictions against many of New York's leading mobsters and went on to serve as mayor of the city. John J. "Teflon Don" Gotti (Gambino) and Carmine "the Snake" Persico (Colombo) voted in favor. (Mugshots of the five Mafia bosses are shown at right.)

According to a 600-page informant file entered into evidence by DeVecchio's defense team, DeVecchio became aware of the underworld vote on Sept. 17, 1987, about a year after it occurred. DeVecchio, 67, is on trial in Brooklyn on murder charges. Prosecutors say he provided information that aided Colombo Crime Family bigshot Gregory Scarpa in planning four murders.

At the time of the vote, Giuliani was prosecuting the Commission case. That trial ended with the November 1986 convictions of Corallo, Persico, Genovese family bigshot Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno and five other defendants. Rastelli was convicted in a separate trial. "Big Paul" Castellano (Gambino) was indicted with his fellow New York bosses, but he was assassinated and replaced by Gotti before the trial began.

Giuliani, now a Presidential candidate, would not discuss the incident in detail. He has previously joked about threats on his life, noting that an $800,000 price on his head was insultingly later reduced to $400,000.

CT panel mulls DeLuca's future

A six-member bipartisan committee of the Connecticut State Senate is considering what action should be taken with regard to State Senator Louis C. DeLuca's (left) admitted link to organized crime, according to a story by Christine Stuart of the New York Times.

DeLuca pleaded guilty June 4 to a misdemeanor charge of threatening and acknowledged asking a Danbury-area trash hauler with reputed ties to the Mafia to threaten his granddaughter's husband in April 2005. Through a plea deal, federal agents dropped their investigation of the legislator. DeLuca claims his granddaughter was a victim of domestic violence. DeLuca also asserts that he repeatedly informed Waterbury Police Chief Neil O'Leary of his granddaughter's plight but received no help. Chief O'Leary insists that DeLuca never mentioned the abusive relationship.

The granddaughter's husband, Mark Colella (right), has denied the allegations of abuse, according to a Sept. 10 story by Paul Hughes of the Waterbury Republican American newspaper. He insists that DeLuca disapproved of the granddaughter's marriage and approached organized crime to have him eliminated. Colella also charged that DeLuca was prepared to his influence as state senate's Republican leader to pay back the favor.

As it looks into DeLuca's relationship with a reputed underworld figure, the senate committee is mulling four options for DeLuca's future: expulsion, censure, reprimand or no action. DeLuca has stepped down from his leadership of Senate Republicans but has dismissed suggestions that he should resign from his legislative position. DeLuca has served in the senate since 1990 and is a ranking member of the Banks, Executive Nominations, Insurance and Real Estate, and Legislative Management committees. He is also a director of the Connecticut General Assembly's Italian-American Legislative Caucus.

When questioned by the committee on Oct. 15, DeLuca refused to answer questions under oath. The committee took hours of unsworn testimony and then asked DeLuca to review a transcript and submit written verification or correction for his answers. DeLuca reportedly submitted an affidavit with some corrections.

The committee is probing DeLuca's relationship with trash hauler James Galante, who is awaiting federal trial. Galante was one of 29 people named in a 117-count federal indictment related to the monopolistic waste disposal industry in western Connecticut. He is accused of running a "property rights scheme" and of making large payments to Genovese Crime Family bigshot Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello (left). Many of his codefendants, including Ianniello, have already reached plea deals with prosecutors.

According to the Republican American, "federal investigators determined that DeLuca and Galante (right) had a close and confidential relationship." A heavily redacted FBI report implied a greater connection between the two men than that described by DeLuca.

When DeLuca reached out for help from Galante, the legislator did not realize that federal agents were nearing the end of an investigation of the trash hauler. The April 2005 meeting between the two men came to the attention of investigators. An undercover agent posing as a Galante associate was sent to meet with DeLuca on Sept. 5 and 6, 2006, three months after Galante had been indicted. During the meetings, DeLuca reportedly pledged political assistance to Galante but rejected a $5,000 bribe offer.

DeLuca has stated that his promise of assistance was merely an effort to placate a frightening visitor.

Ex-cop Coffey crooked: DeVecchio memo

A document to be used in the defense of former FBI supervisor R. Lindley DeVecchio charges that celebrated New York Police Detective Joe Coffey (right) was a mob informant, according to a story by Scott Shifrel of the New York Daily News.

Coffey, who solved more than 80 murders and led New York's Organized Crime Homicide Task Force, said the charge was "absolutely outrageous. I never in my life dealt with the Mafia other than to lock them up. They hated me. To this day, they hate me."

The defense document is a Sept. 4, 1984, memo relating to Mafia bigshot Gregory Scarpa (left), in which DeVecchio noted, "The source could not furnish specific details, but has longtime street knowledge of Coffey's dealings with La Cosa Nostra members."

That memo appears to have been the catalyst for an investigation of Coffey. "There was an investigation, and it was disproved," Coffey said. He suggested that DeVecchio might have fabricated the "tip" about his mob involvement. The two men feuded for some time.

DeVecchio (right) is standing trial in Brooklyn on murder charges. Prosecutors say his cooperation with Scarpa aided the Mafioso during the violent 1990s civil war in the Colombo Crime Family. Scarpa died in prison in 1994 at the age of 66. DeVecchio maintains his innocence. He is supported by a number of current and former FBI agents.

Coffey's law enforcement career is the subject of:
The Coffey Files: One Cop's War Against the Mob

About Me

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; author of Wrongly Executed?; coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime; contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime; writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.