Friday, June 27, 2008

Former bus union boss gets 4-plus years

Salvatore BattagliaSalvatore "Hot Dogs" Battaglia (left), former president of a union of 15,000 New York City school bus drivers, was sentenced yesterday to four years and nine months in prison as a penalty for extortion and receiving bribes, according to a story published by the New York Times.

In January, Battaglia, 61, admitted taking payoffs in exchange for keeping his Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union out of certain bus companies. The payoffs were linked to Matthew Ianniello, former acting boss of the Genovese Crime Family.

Two other union officials earlier pleaded guilty to related charges. Ianniello also acknowledged wrongdoing.

Ianniello acknowledged in 2006 that he had arranged illegal payoffs for the union leadership. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. Ann Chiarovano, who directed the local's pension fund, pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about mob influence in the union local. She was sentenced to five months in prison. Julius "Spike" Bernstein, secretary-treasurer of Local 1181, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and cooperated with the federal investigation.

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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.