Saturday, February 14, 2004

Bugging the Wiseguys: Nothing for Me, Nick, Thanks 

This is how a conversation might have gone down among KC mob boss Nick Civella, Tropicana skim master Joe Agosto and casino front man Carl Wesley Thomas, circa 78:

Carl Wesley Thomas
... All right. Shepard at the Hacienda.

Nick Cive lla

With my cousin.

Yeah. Yeah.

I took McBride's assistant, that guy that you've just hired.

Joe Agosto
Uh huh.

I put one of my cashiers there. I had Fertitt a and Caldwell at the Fremont.

All right.

With my bookkeeper, and McBride down there.

All Right. Did you have the key to the boxes?


You had the key?>

Yeah. Yeah.

You had the key? So you actually opened the box and ...

Take cash. There's no record. ...

You rather have beer or soda?

No, I don't want anything now, thank you.

Nothin'? ...

Seeing No Evil Don't Make It Disappear 

Would somebody at the Post pleased check the Late Gov. Mel Carnahan's campaign finance records. The same goes for the Missouri Democratic Party. I know it's old news. But I remember being down at Ethics Commission in Jefferson City in the summer of 1999. I had gone done there to page through campaign contributions for a story that Melinda Roth was working on about the Page Avenue extension. It was an eye-opening experience. There they were all in the black and white: the influence purchasers: Sto gel, Slay, Warmann, Pipefitter's Local 562, Broadway Music. But there were even bigger contributor from out of state. The campaign finance records of the governor and the state Democratic Party showed wads of cash being handed over from Vegas casino interests in the mid to late 1990s. One donation stands out among all others: The Missouri Democratic Party received a single bundle of $125,000 from the Nevada Democratic Party. How charitable of Nevada. Rhode Island didn't give Missouri Dem's any money; New Jersey, Florida, New York, Florida, Texas -- nada. Not one other state Democratic Party committee gave the Missouri Democratic Party a penny. Bundling the money through the party committees helped launder who donated the cash, too, of course. There's no r ecord of who really gave the money. One thing's for sure, though, the casino interests won't have to worry about buying influence from Carnahan anymore, will they?

Author, Author 

A copy of Terry Ganey and Peter Herndon's unauthorized biography of the Busch brewing dynasty is going for $35.00 at the used book store on South Grand.

The Casino Beat 

If I had all this juicy information on Station Casino's founder Frank J. Fertitta Jr. why didn't I write the story? Why pass such rich material to a fellow reporter? Was I altruistic or just lazy?

At a Riverfront Times staff meeting in late 199 9 or early 2000, reporters were asked to submit issues that they were interested in covering. Among those I choice was the casino beat. I had a good source of anti-casino industry, Steve Taylor. When I was still freelancing for the RFT in the 199 0s, Taylor had provided me with accurate information. During this time, Taylor was an environmental activist opposed to the Times Beach dioxin incinerator. I wrote a few dozen stories on the Times Beach Superfund Cleanup. One caught the DNR, EPA and their contractors cooking the books on the stack emission tests. Exposing this fraud won me top honors for investigative reporting in 1997 from the Missouri Press Association. Taylor leaked me reams of data that pointed to the fraud. I knew I could trust him f rom experience. In his new job, he was down in Jefferson City during the legislative sessions. This meant he could relay developments in a timely manner.

But hard-hitting, timely casino coverage didn't appear to be exactly what the RFT was look ing for under the New Times ownership. After all, Station Casino, the gambling company that was ultimately kicked out the state, ran full-page ads in the RFT every week. But at the time, I was still naive enough to believe that advertisers didn't hold sway over editorial judgements.

A week after we submitted our choices for beat coverage, editor Safir Ahmed announced the selections that he and managing editor Roland Klose had made. I didnt' get the casino beat, Bruce Rushton got it. (When later wrote about the proposed Lemay casino, I pitched that idea to the editors as a St. Louis County development issue.)

So when I got a tip in December 1999 from attorney Joe Jacobson that Michael Lazaroff, Station's lobbyist/lawyer, was about to be busted, I handed it over to my editors. I was being a good soldier, following the chain of command. But I was still curious about the case so I did some digging on my own. I soon discovered (and it wasn't very difficult) that Station's founder had past ties with the Mafia and because of this had been forced to put the Missouri gaming license in his son's name. Suddenly, a huge story grew much, much larger. Dutifully, I handed over the information to Rushton, Ahmed and Klose.

The biggest story I ever uncovered in my career and these three sat on it for a full 11 months. When Rushton's cover story finally did see the light of day on Nov. 1, 2000, it didn't even mention Frank J. Fertitta Jr. It barely mentioned his son. Of course, there was no reference to organ ized crime. Leaving out Fertitta was like writing a story about the Anheuser-Busch brewery and leaving out the name of August Busch III. Even if Feritta's ties to the Mafia weren't deemed as important Rushton could have dropped a short paragraph or a sen tence into the body of the story. He didn't. The story I'm sure is over 5,000 words long, so the omission wasn't because he didn't have enough space. And the omission wasn't because he was ignorant. So how many reasons for this "oversight" are left other than those two?

Believe it or not, an earlier story by Rushton on Lazaroff didn't even bother to mention Station Casino at all. Instead, it focused exclusively on illegal campaign contributions made by Lazaroff and his law partners. This story ran on July 12, 2000. Let me make this clear: Rushton -- the casino beat reporter -- wrote about a crooked casino l obbyist's illegal activities but failed to even mention anything about Lazaroff's largest client -- Station Casino. By this point, Rushton already had been sitting on the story for eight months.

But it gets worse. After he writes the less than definitive Lazaroff/Station's story in the summer of 2000, the RFT sends him to Atlanta to cover a car race, as a part of a fluffy sports profile on some amateur driver. I had been connected to the paper for a decade by this point and I never saw anything like that before. The RFT covers local issues mainly and only does limited sports coverage, if anything at all. It was unprecedented to send a reporter half way across the country to cover a minor sporting event. Unlike the Lazaroff/Station's story, Rushton cranked out the race car story in a couple weeks. (Quanity not quality counts most at the RFT. Bruce had to keep up with his quota.) Then he went on vacation in August for two weeks just as the Lazaroff hearings were set to start. His cover story wouldn't run until November.

I remember the day he finally wrapped up the Lazaroff cover story. His spirits were buoyed. It was like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. I saw him walking down the hall past my office. He was heading for the fire escape for a smoke break, as was his usual custom. But this time he hadn't waited until he got outside to light up and Bruce wasn't smoking tobacco that day. He bogarted the joint.

Who's Hiding What? 

Don't get distracted by the shell game, folks. Nobody hid the fact that Station Casino founder Frank J. Fertitta Jr. was an associate of organized crime from Riverfront Times reporter Bruce Rushton. The information was packaged neatly and place d in his hands -- by me. I gave the same information to former editor Safir Ahmed and former managing editor Roland Klose, too.

But in the opus that Rushton wrote about attorney and gambling lobbyist Michael Lazaroff in the late fall of 2000, Rushton f ailed, for unknown reasons, to mention anything about Fertitta's sordid past.

He could have asked David Helfrey, Station'soutside counsel, about Fertitta, of course, because he interviewed him. But apparently he chose not to ask any tough questions of H elfrey, who prior to becoming a criminal defense attorney, was a federal prosecutor in Kansas City. In that capacity, Helfrey was in a position to know of Fertitta's background because of FBI wiretap transcripts that allude to Fertitta being involved in the skimming operations of Carl Thomas, a casino executive who was recorded having conversations with Kansas City Mafia bosses Nick and Carl Civella among others in 1979. During the conversations, Thomas mentions Fertitta repeatedly as being a part of his crew, a crew that bilked the casinos out of millions and desposited the money into the hands of the Mafia families in Kansas City, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Chicago.

Fertitta's tainted background is the reason that he chose to put Station's Missouri lice nse in his son's name, Frank J. Fertitta III. Rushton knew this because I gave him a story by former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Phil Linsalta from 1992, when Station's was applying for the state license for the St. Charles casino.

Rushton also knew that Michael Lazaroff feared for his life and was given state police protection during and after the M issouri Gaming Commission hearings that were held in Jefferson City in the summer of 2000. He knew this because he was told as much by Steve Taylor, an anti-casino lobbyist who attended the hearings. I later confirmed Taylor's recollection through Missouri Assistant Attorney Mike Bradley.

Why would Lazaroff be in fear of his life? Others had died when asked to testify by the gaming board. Carl Thomas -- the person who had direct knowledge of Fertitta's organized crime connections -- had been asked in 1993 to provide background information on his former employee to the Missouri Gaming Commission. Thomas traveled to Las Vegas from his home in Oregon to confer with Station's executives in Las Vegas about the coming testimony. But he never made it to Missouri to testify. After his Vegas visit, Thomas returned to Oregon and died a one-car accident.

Lazaroff's own testimony refers to "Carl Thomas", and the "Fremont" casino and "Argent" corporation, all of which were part of the Kansas City Mafia's skim operation in Las Vegas in the 1970s. Rushton had a transcript of the Gaming Commission hearings in which Lazaroff made these references.

At the hearings, retired FBI agent and former Gaming Commissioner William Quinn testified that he had talked to Helfrey, Station's lawyer, on three occasions. Quinn already knew Helfrey because they had worked on the so-called Operation Strawman cases together. Strawman was the FBI operation that resulted in the conviction of 19 Mafia members in the Midwest, including the Civellas brothers of Kansas City, for skimming from the Hacienda, Fremont, Stardust and Tropicana casinos in Las Vegas. The transcript of the Gaming Commission hearings, show that Quinn testified that, on one occasion, Helfrey asked him over the phone to meet with him and a Station's representative. Quinn's testimony shows that Helfrey had been retained after the Lazaroff scandal broke. He was already representing Station in a legal capacity. Helfrey's and Lazaroff's service to Station Casino overlapped. They were both working for the same company at the same time. Moreover, if Helfrey and a Station's representative had met with Quinn, it would have been comparable to Lazaroff's violations. Such a meeting would have been in violation of the Commission's "ex parte" rule, which was set up in 1994 to make sure that state gaming commissioners did not fall under the influence of the casinos that they were supposed to be regulating. Quinn said he was concerned about his former colleague's s uggestion and he refused to meet with Helfrey and the Station's representative. Again, Rushton had the transcript of Quinn's testimony. But instead of citing Quinn, he relied heavily on Helfey's version of events in telling the story.

Nobody hid this information from Bruce Rushton. But he did manage to hide it from the public.

Friday, February 13, 2004

A.G. Holds Points in Argosy's Future Thanks to Floyd 

When questions about Floyd Warmann's checkered financial history surfaced earlier this month before the St. Louis County Council approved his St. Louis County Police Board nomination , Warmann provided a letter of explanation to the councilmen. You could write a book about Warmann's wheeling and dealing, but he managed somehow to summarize his credit woes in one-and-a-half pages.

One of Warmann's many dodgy deals, which he blithley dismisses, involves a 1993 loan from A.G. Enterprises, a company tied to Belleville attorney Amiel Cueto, a convicted felon. Under the terms of the loan agreement, Warmann received $300,000, which was doled out in six monthly installments. In return, he was expected to pay back $2.4 million and/or a stake in a casino deal that Warmann was trying to desperately to negotiate. Warmann held a riverfront lease on the St. Louis levee, where Argosy Gaming Co. wanted to moor a floating casino. Argosy was paying Warmann's company, St. Louis Concessions, $50,000 to keep its options open on the prime site, while the state licensing process hit a standstill. Warmann turned around and used the money to stave off his debts with other creditors, including Boatmen's and Magna banks. But 50 Grand a month was not nearly enough to keep Warmann's head above water. So he went further into hock by taking out a high-interest loan through A.G. Enterprises.

In the letter to the St. Louis County Council this month, Warmann says he never met Cueto, an attorney convicted of interfering with the 1997 federal trial of Eastside racketeer Thomas Venezia. Instead, Warmann says that his loan agreement with A.G. was negotiated through another attorney -- Thomas LeChien. Warmann says that, according to a St. Louis County Circuit Court ruling, he owes nothing on the loan until such time as a casino opens under the lease held by St. Louis Concessions. Warmann's explanation may have molified the St. Louis County Council, but there is a small hitch. LeChien, the attorney who negotiated the high-interest loan for A.G. Enterprises, also acted as a legal counsel to Venezia, a convicted racketeer.

The question that begs to be answered is who really owns A.G. Enterprises?

Irish Times 2002 Report on Bush-CIA Rift 

CIA Study Conflicts with Bush Over Iraq
by Conor O'Clery, North American Editor
Irish Times
Dateline New York
Oct. 10, 2002

President Bush has based his case for war against Iraq on the premise that President Saddam Hussein poses a "grave and gathering" danger to the United States. But the CIA believes that the prospect of a terrorist attack by Iraq against the U.S. is low, and the the build-up to war might in fact unleash the horrors that Mr. Bush says he wishes to prevent.

The classified assessment, which injects a new element into the debate on war or peace in the U.S. Congress, emerged in a letter sent by CIA Director George Tenet to Sen. Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Commmittee on Oct. 7

"Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW (chemical or biological weapons) against the United States," Mr. Tenet wrote. ...

Is There an Editor in the House? 

The trouble with blogging is that you can instantly publish sloppy copy.

Cosimo's: A Freaky Little Place 

It was June in New Orleans, and we were seeking shelter from the sun. Alison and I had just finished dancing for several hours in a New Orleans funeral procession. The second line had followed the brass bands from downtown out to St. Louis Cemetery No. 2. The parade honored the late Ernie K-Doe, self-described "Emperor of the Universe." K-Doe a local rhythm and blues recording artist, had one chart buster back in 1962 -- Mother-in-Law.

Hoofing back in the direction of our hotel, we stopped at the first available watering hole, Cosimo's, a little bar at 1201 Burgundy St., on the edge of the French Quarter. Not your typical raucous Bourbon Street dive, Cosimo's was cool and dark and quiet inside. The bartender looked like she may have been serving drinks at the place since it opened. Cosimo's was the kind of place where native New Orleans residents came to escape the hordes of tourists. The regulars all seemed to know each other.

A new digitized jukebox had recently been installed and the bartender was having difficulty figuring out how it worked. During some small talk, she let it slip out that owner of the place also owned the jukebox company. When she walked to the other end of the bar, I leaned over and whispered to Alison, "This place looks like it's mobbed up." Since then, the term "mobbed up" has become an inside joke with us because I seem to see vestiges of organized crime around every corner. Perhaps this annoying little quirk of mine fits more snugly in a city like New Orleans. New Orleans, af ter all, never has tried to hide behind a veneer of respectability as much as St. Louis. The corruption in the Crescent City has always been closer to the surface, less hidden.

After we got back home, I received a review copy of Rearview Mirror: Look ing Back at the FBI, the CIA and Other Tails by former FBI agent William Turner. After he split from the bureau in the 1960s, Turner became an editor at Ramparts. Later, he helped New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison investigate the Ke nnedy assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, had spent time in New Orleans in the year preceding the assassination, hanging out with a group of right-wing extremists, including Clay Shaw, David Ferrie and Guy Bannister, an ex-FBI agent fr om Chicago. Bannister ran a private dectective agency in New Orleans, which was a front for Anti-Castro guerrilla operations.

In 1968, when Garrison started trying to unravel these connections, he had a sit-down with Dean Andrews, a friend and fellow att orney. Garrison believed that Shaw was involved in the plot to kill Kennedy because he had briefly hired Andrews to defend Oswald almost immediately after the alleged assasin had been arrested. Here's an excerpt from Turner's book:

"... Within days of th e assassination, attorney Dean A. Andrews had tipped the FBI about a link between Oswald and Shaw, who was using the pseudonym Clay Bertrand. ... Andrews, a Falstaffian figure with a flair for hip language, later told the Warren Commission that he h ad ran a kind of turnstile law practice in which he secured the release of `gay swishers' arrested by the police in violation of sumptuary laws. ... Continuing, Andrews mentioned that on the day after the assassination he was recovering from an illness in the H o.tel Dieu Hospital when `the phone rang and a voice I recognized as Clay Bertrand asked me if I would go to Dallas' to defend Oswald.' ...

"Although the (Warren) Commission discounted Andrews statement, Garrison didn't. He knew Andrews, having go ne to T ulane law school with him. ... So one of the first things that (Garrison) did when he reopened his JFK file in late 1967, before the media caught on, was to send his investigators into the French Quarter to seek out the elusive Bertrand. Back came the wor d: Clay Bertrand was the name Clay Shaw used in the Quarter, and one of his haunts was Cosimo's bar, which Andrews had depicted ... as a 'freaky little place where he once spotted Bertrand.'"

Of course, I didn't know this when I was sipping a near beer a t Cosimo's in the summer of 2001. The day that we danced at Ernie K-Doe's funeral I was supposed to attend a luncheon at the Association of Altnerative Newspaper's convention at a big hotel on Canal Street. The keynote speaker was Oliver Stone, director o f the movie JFK. (In the screen version, Stone cast comedian John Candy as Dean Andrews.) My plan was to collar Stone, after his speech, and ask him if he needed a researcher on another one of his projects, a film about the assassination of the Rev. Mar tin Luther King Jr., which still remains dormant. Instead, I opted to dance at a New Orleans musician's funeral.

The jukebox selection at Cosimo's even nowadays tends more towards Frank Sinatra. Still I image that K-Doe's one hit, Mother-in-Law, might h ave been playing on a sultry New Orleans' night more than 40 years ago, when Clay Shaw and David Ferrie partied and plotted down on Burgundy Street.

Ernie K-Doe and Oliver Stone unwittingly conspired to bring me to that bar stool at Cosimo's on a hot summer's day. You could call it a Media Mayhem convergence. Funny how you can be standing in the wake of history and not even know it until later.

I guess that's what history is.

Simon, Helfrey and Jones: The Judge Retires 

The Appellate Judicial Commission will accept applications for the position of Judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, to fill the vacancy due to the retirement of Judge Paul J. Simon.
Applications wil l be received until 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 2, 2003. The Commission will meet September 17 and 18, 2003, in St. Louis to conduct interviews and to select a panel of three applicants for submission to the Governor.

Application forms may be requested from the Appellate Judicial Commission, Post Office Box 150,
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Profiles in Gambling: From Mr. Softee to the Tropicana 

James B. Perry, the president of and chief executive officer for Argosy Gaming Company, served briefly as an assistant controller at the Tropicana Casino in from December 1979 to July 1980. His tenure at the Tropicana followed the Feb. 14, 1979 FBI raid at the casino, which first revealed the Operation Strawman investigation into Mafia skimming in Las Vegas.

The following profile is based on a routine Indiana Gaming Commission background check on Argosy officers.

James B. Perry is president and chief executive officer for Argosy Gaming Company located in Alton, Illinois. Mr. Perry was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania on January 15, 1950. Mr. Perry has been married to Cathy Ann (Jackson) Perry since December 29,1982. Mr. Perry, his wife
and three children reside in Ladue, Missouri.

He attended Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio and graduated with a B.A. degree in history in 1972. He also attended Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana but did not earn a degree. Mr. Perry attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona in 1975 for business and accounting but did not graduate.

He began his employment in 1970 with Rockwell Standard in New Castle, Pennsylvania as an assembly line extra. In June 1971 Mr. Perry was a driver for the Mr. Softee Ice Cream Company in New Castle, Pennsylvania. In June 1972 Mr. Perry worked as a bar tender and desk clerk trainee for Shenango Inn, Sharon, Pennsylvania. In January 1973 Mr. Perry worked as cashier and captain at the Key Bridge Marriott in Roslyn, Virginia. From August 1973 to August 1974 Mr. Perry was a fifty-percent owner in a lawn care and maintenance company with his cousin John McKinley. The company, McKinley Maintenance, was located in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Perry sold his half of the business to John McKinley in August 1974 and returned to school.

In August 1974 Mr. Perry worked as a waiter at Neptune's East, a restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona. In November 1974 Mr. Perry worked as a clerk at Sears in Scottsdale, Arizona. In August 1975 he worked as a bartender and waiter at the Windjammer Restaurant in Tempe, Arizona.

In June 1976 Mr. Perry joined Ramada Inn Inc., in Phoenix, Arizona as an internal auditor. In February 1978 Mr. Perry was promoted to the position of regional controller. In March 1979 Mr. Perry was promoted to the position of hotel controller and transferred to the Phoenix Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In December 1979 he was transferred to the Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada to serve as the assistant controller.

In July 1980 Mr. Perry was an accountant for Silverman, Fleishman and Rimm in Ventnor, New Jersey. In October 1980 Mr. Perry was a controller for Tropicana Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In April 1982 Mr. Perry was promoted to the position of vice president of finance. In December 1985 Mr. Perry became the controller for Ramada Inn Inc., in Phoenix, Arizona.

In March 1987 Mr. Perry was promoted to the position of senior vice-president and controller of gaming. In December 1987 Mr. Perry became the senior vice-president of casino operations at the Tropicana Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which later became Tropworld in 1988. In May 1989 Mr. Perry was promoted to the position of executive vice-president and assistant general manager.

In September 1992 he was promoted to the position of president and general manager. In August 1996 Mr. Perry became president of the hospitality group for Keating Building group in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

On April 21, 1997 Mr. Perry became president and chief executive officer of Argosy Gaming Company. Mr. Perry presently holds this position.

Helfrey Attempts to Engage a Gaming Commissioner in "Ex Parte" Communications 

Retired FBI Agent William J. Quinn, a former Missouri Gaming Commissioner, testified on Aug. 30, 2000 that Station's Casino's outside counsel David Helfrey attempted to arrange a meeting with him and a casino representative, which would have been illegal. Helfrey was formerly an assistant U.S. Attorney in in Kansas City, who prosecuted a series of mob trials from 1980 to 1986. Evidence submitted in one the trials indicated that the founder of Station's Casino, Frank J. Rertitta, had past ties to the organized crime figures in Las Vegas, who were involved in a skimming operation in the 1970s. Quinn's testimony, which came late in the day, is the first and perhaps only reference to Helfrey's prosecutorial background during the hearings. The Riverfront Times relied heavily on Helfrey as a source in its December 2000 story that exonerated Station's of wrongdoing, while placing the onus of the Station's scandal squarely on casino lobbyist Michael Lazaroff. Ferttita's organized crime affiliations were never mentioned in the story by reporter Bruce Rushton. The fact that Helfrey, the former prosecutor, had flipped and was working for Fertitta wasn't mentioned, either. The omission of any reference to Fertitta's background came even though I had informed Rushton of it months before his story ran. Meanwhile, the RFT continued to accept full-page ads from Station's until the time it was kicked out of the state in late 2000.

Excerpted from the testimony of William J. Quinn, former FBI agent and Missouri Gaming Commissioner, before the Missouri Gaming Commission in Jefferson City, Mo. on Aug 30, 2000:

18 Q. Okay. But you mentioned a third occasion
19 that --
20 A. The third one was the one that bothered me a
21 wee bit. And you've heard the name Dave Helfrey here
22 today. Dave Helfrey was a strike-force attorney, and a
23 very, very successful one in Kansas City.
24 Q. We haven't pointed out the fact that before you
25 retired, what was your occupation?
1 A. I was an FBI agent.
2 Q. Okay. Please go ahead.
3 A. And he was handling the organized crime cases,
4 and prior to my retirement I handled those. I supervised
5 them.
6 I was in downtown Kansas City one day. And one
7 of the agents dropped me over to might -- to meet him. I
8 never met the gentleman before. We shook hands and said
9 hello. He was very busy. And that was the extent of it.
10 We then had a meeting in St. Louis. I think it
11 was the first meeting we had in St. Louis. And he came up
12 to me, introduced himself, forgot that he ever met me.
13 I'm a very forgettable person.
14 And he just -- we visited and talked about
15 mutual friends. And he had a client with him. And I
16 don't know for sure what company the client was with or if
17 he said. But I did ask one of the other commissioners, or
18 someone in the group, and they said they thought that guy
19 was with Station Casinos.
20 But the fellow said nothing. And that was the
21 end of it. Maybe two, three minutes.
22 Q. Okay. And --
23 A. And then the third instance is the one that
24 bothered me.
25 I got a telephone call at home from him one
1 day, and this had to be '46 or '47. And at that time --
4 Q. '96?
5 A. Yeah.
6 Q. '96.
7 A. '96. '96. I'm usually more accurate than
8 this.
9 Anyhow, he --
10 Q. We made you wait a long time.
11 A. We -- we passed pleasantries, because we did
12 have a number of common friends, a number of agents I was
13 very -- still very close to. And just talked in
14 generalities.
15 And finally he asked me if we could meet. And
16 I don't know if he wanted to meet me in St. Louis or in
17 Kansas City or where. He never did say where. And he
18 indicated that there would be another man there, but I
19 can't tell you the name of the man, and I can't tell you
20 who he represented, except I think he represented Station
21 Casinos, the guy who he was talking about.
22 And I told him no, I would not meet with them.
23 And that was the end. He didn't carry on the discussion.
24 He didn't try to encourage me. That ended it. And I did
25 notify Tom Irwin of the situation.
1 Q. Okay.

By Gosh, Israel and Russia Can Attack Other Countries, Why Can't We? 

Post columnist Bill McClellan defended the right of the U.S. to invade foreign countries without probable cause last night on Donnybrook Your Turn. He buttressed his argument by saying, "By Gosh, Israel and Russia did it!"

Donnybrook My Turn: The Nipple that Shook the World 

Wendy, what if Ray's wife chooses to breast feed the baby -- in public? The horror!

As the debate over Janet Jackson's nipple flash continues, let's peruse the Riverfront's Times' classified ads to see what, if any, "community standard" exists in St. L ouis:

25 yr old black & asian Transsexual, 38C-24-36, fully functional. I have a body to die for, a face that kills, come see my surprise & you will be thrilled!
Diamond 314-308-9548
$85 Special, Limited Time!

The Riverfront Times founded by Ray Hartmann 1977

Helfrey Scares the Hell Out of Lazaroff 

Below is another excerpt from the testimony of Michael Lazaroff before the Missouri Gaming Commission on Aug. 30, 2000. In this excerpt, Lazaroff refers to a conversation he had with Station's outside counsel David Helfrey about how he should respond to questions about his lobbying efforts on behalf of Station's Casino. Lazaroff claims that he thought that Helfrey's comments were threatening. Without having knowledge of Station's founder Frank J. Feritta's background, Lazaroff's concerns would seem unfounded. Helfrey, however, knew that Fertitta was an associate of organize crime, because earlier in his career he had been the lead federal prosecutor in a series of mob trials in Kansas City in the 1980s. During the prosecution of the so-called Strawman cases, evidence indicated that Fertitta was involved in or had knowledge of the Mafia's skimming operation at Las Vegas Casinos in the 1970s.

15 A. 5th -- Rich Haskins and Scott -- Scott Nielson
16 flew into St. Louis. They got in late. They were coming
17 to do a bunch of different things, but we had set up a
18 meeting the next day with their lawyer then, who was David
19 Helfrey and my lawyer Arthur Margulis.
20 I met them at the hotel. We went up to their
21 room. They had -- they had, like, a little suite. And
22 they ordered some food. And we were talking about the
23 game plan.
24 And towards the end Scott and I went into
25 another room, apart from Rich Haskins, in which he
1 reconfirmed the monetary arrangement if and when the
2 Kansas City Hilton deal was approved.
3 Q. Did Scott Nielson ever reconfirm that monetary
4 arrangement in front of Rich Haskins?
5 A. No, he did not.
6 Q. Okay. It was only when you two were by
7 yourself?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. Did you have any further meetings
10 with -- with Mr. Nielson while he was in the area?
11 A. Yeah. Monday, December the 6th we met at the
12 law office of Arthur Margulis, and it was Mr. Margulis and
13 myself, Rich Haskins, Scott Nielson and David Helfrey.
14 And during that meeting Mr. Helfrey said words
15 to the effect of, we don't think that the Commission has
16 anything. We have your sworn testimony that you did not
17 have ex parte conversations.
18 And there will -- there will undoubtedly come a
19 time where you'll be tempted to lie in order to save
20 yourself because of all of these other problems that you
21 have, but we know that you'll do the right thing. Okay?
22 And that was repeated.
23 And I remember walking out of that meeting and
24 turning to Scott and said, I don't want to meet with that
25 guy ever again. He scares the hell out of me.
1 And Scott said -- said to me, he scares the
2 hell out of me too.

The Sonnenschein Bust Revisited 

Dennis Sonnenschein, the Eastside massage parlor impressario, pleaded guilty to withholding evidence last year, which resulted in a one-year federal prison sentence. Sonnenschein was the only individual indicted, but obviously the grand jury had been impaneled to look more deeply into the Eastside prostitution rackets. The investigation, according to reports in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, focused on a time period between 1996 and 2000. The assistant U.S. Attorney who handled the case told the Post that the inquiry centered on clients being drawn by across state lines to pay for sex with prostitutes who worked at the massage parlors and topless clubs on the Eastside. The customers were enticed to cross into Illinois, according to the feds, by advertisements placed in Missouri publications. The main source for these ads is obviously the Riverfront Times. The years 1996 to 2000 spans the time when the RFT was owned by Hartmann Publishing (Ray Hartmann) and then New Ti mes Inc. (Mike Lacey) To prove that these two publishers were culpable, of course, would be a difficult task. Evidence would have to proove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hartmann and Lacey knew in advance that the sex trade ads in the RFT resulted in illegal activities. A reader would have to be brain dead, of course, not to realize that the RFT sex ads were promoting illicit sex, however, the publishers can always deny knowledge of the illegal activities. But it's a safe bet that somebody along the line had specific knowledge of the illegal activities besides Sonnenschein.

Lacey's Oligarchy 

Michael G. Lacey, the co-founder and executive editor of New Times Inc., doesn't believe in labor unions. He told me as much in our one brief meeting. He was holding court at the Delmar Lounge, pontificating, swilling Irish coffees, acting like he knew wh at he was talking about. The one critique he had of my work was that I used the word "oligarchies" in one of my stories to describe the ruling families of Central America. The story was about the Rev. James "Guadalupe" Carney, a Jesuit priest who was lik e ly murdered by a Honduran death squad in the 1980s. The CIA may have had a hand in Carney's murder, as well. Carney's family, along with human rights activists in the U.S. and Honduras, were still pushing for an inquiry. Under pressure the CIA had rele ased a report on the subject in 1998.

Lacey took exception my use of the word -- "oligarchies" -- because he said that it sounded too much like 1930s communist propaganda.

After I got fired by at the Riverfront Times, I called him at hi s off ice in Phoenix. He was too busy to talk about my termination. He said he was "in a meeting."

Lacey splits his time between Phoenix, where New Times is headquartered, and Malibu, where he lives. In other blog posts, I've noted how many editorial sta ff members have been fired at the Riverfront Times since New Times took over in 1999. I've never mentioned the high turnover rate among sales people. The sales department, on the second floor of the Tivoli Building on Delmar, where the RFT is located, is called the "boiler room." The sales people get a flat salary of $15,000 a year, just above poverty level. Any additional income is based on sales commissions. If salespersons don't meet the sales quota, they're pitched out on the street very quickly.

These are the people who have helped make Michael G. Lacey a very rich man. His Malibu house alone is estimated to be worth more than $1.5 million.

Lacey has two residences: 6144 N. Camelback Manor Dr., Paridise Valley, Ariz. 85253; and 7089 Birdsview Ave., Malibu, Calif. 90265. Lacey's home phone is 602-952-0902.


Let the Sunshine In 

Post gabster Deb Peterson revealed today that two more Riverfront Times staffers hit the bricks last week. The paper fired calendar editor Byron Kerman and reporter Matthew Everett. A check of the RFT credits box shows that assi stant editor Paul Friswold has replaced Kerman in the top slot. Everett was replaced by intern Ben Westhoff. Least and last, the RFT finally hired a new managing editor, Ellis Conklin. The newsroom has been operating without a managing editor si nce Roland Klose left in early September.

Consider it a temp job Ellis.

With an editorial staff of approximately 12 people, the RFT has managed to get rid of 19 staffers in five years, including two editors and a managing editor. If you believ e that the paper treats its employees unfairly, I suggest lodging a complaint with Michael Lacey, executive editor of New Times, the owner of the RFT, can be reached in Phoenix at 602-229-8404.

Congratulations to Friswold and "Fellow" Ben Westhoff for taking the jobs of those who were fired. That's very courageous of you chaps.

the dearly departed
Mike K, proofreader -- fired
James Duffy, calendar editor -- fired
Sharon Fuller, editorial assistant -- quit
Amy Cook, editorial assistant -- quit
Thomas Crone, reporter -- fired
C.D. Stelzer, reporter -- fired
D.J. Wilson, reporter -- fired
Eddie Silva, reporter -- fired
Elizabeth Vega, reporter -- fired
Safir Ahmed, editor -- fired
Cliff Froehlich, assistant editor -- quit
Carrie Bailey, c opy editor -- quit
Melinda Roth, report er -- quit
Jeannette Batz, reporter -- quit
Byron Kerman, calendar editor -- fired
Matthew Everett, reporter -- fired
Rene Spencer, music editor -- quit
Roland Klose, managing editor -- quit or fired
Jim Nesbitt, editor, quit or fired

New Times obviously needs to be unionized.
* On the business side, New Times also fired RFT publisher Terry Coe in 2002. Coe had been with New Times for more than 16 years. ˇ

The Partnership 

A 1995 St. Louis Post-Dispatch story by Mark Shlinkmann lists the local partners of Futuresouth which teamed up with Ameristar to go after a casino license for the Lemay site in South St. Louis County in the late 90s. My 2000 cover story in the Riverfront Times of how the casino was opposed by the neighborhood, including the Sisters of Notre Dame, helped kill the plan. When I interviewed the PR flack for Ameristar, she asked: "Are you sure you want to do this?" In other words, was it wor th the career risk to write a story critical of Ameristar's plans. Ultimately, Ameristar bought the license from Station's Casino in St. Charles, after the latter was kicked out the state. Recognize any names from recent Media Mayhem entries? Let me highlight them to make it a little easier for you.

FUTURESOUTH Rick Barry, lawyer and former candidate for the Democratic nomination for St. Louis County prosecutor in 1990; Frank J. Bommarito, board chairman, Bommarito Automotive Group; John E. Brauch Jr., president, Interstate Cleaning Corp.; Teddy Busch, president, Busch Glass Inc.

Dean Climer, executive, Kadean Construction; William J. Cocos, vice president, William G. Cocos Co. Inc.; William G. Cocos Jr., president, William G. Cocos Co. I nc. Norman C. Dilg, certified public accountant.

Charles E. Emmenegger, president, Bull Moose Tube Co.; John P. Ferrara, president, Pasta House Co.; Joseph A. Fresta, co-owner, Pasta House Co.; Charles E. Gitto Jr., proprietor, C harl ie Gitto's restaurant.

Richard Greer, chief executive officer, Richard Greer Trucking; Louis P. Hamilton, president, Hamilton & Co. Inc.; James R. Herd, executive vice president, Middleton Investments; Ronald J. Johnson, president, Riversid e Ele ctric Co.

Charles M. Knight, president, Knight Equipment Co.; Gilbert Kopolow, owner, Gilbert Kopolow & Associates; Patrick D. Long, president, Worldwide Services Inc.; Dennis P. Long, president, D.P. Long & Associates Inc., former executive, Anheu ser-Busch Cos. Inc.

LaVerne Lorenzini, the wife of a packaging company executive; Paul A. Novelly, president, Apex Oil Co. Inc.; Richard J. Piatchek, president, Peiker/Piatchek Associates Inc.; John G. Rallo, vice president, Daniel & Hen ry Co.

Michael J. Rallo, president, CMR Construction Inc.; Charles N. Rallo, chairman, CMR Construction Inc.; Nicholas G. Rallo, project manager, CMR Construction Inc. W. Michael Ross, president, Capital Bank & Trust.

Terry Scholtes, pr esident, Rock Products Inc.; Glen Slay, vice president, Slay Industries; J. Kim Tucci, co-owner, Pasta House Co.; Bill Wilkerson, morning show host, KMOX Radio.

Conspiracy Theorists Go Wild!: Skull and Bones Meets the Press 

Excerpted from "Meet the Press" of Sunday, Feb. 8th:

Russert: This is what John Kerry had to say last year. He said that his colleagues are appalled at the quote "President's lack of knowledge." They've managed him the same way they've managed Rona ld Reagan. They send him out to the press for one event a day. They put him in a brown jacket and jeans and get him to move some hay or move a truck, and all of a sudden he's the Marlboro Man. I know this guy. He was two years behind me at Yale. I k new him, and he's still the same guy.”

Did you know him at Yale?

President Bush: No.

Russert: How do you respond to that?

President Bush: Politics. I mean, this is—you know, if you close your eyes and listen carefully to what you just said, it sounds like the year 2000 all over again.

Russert: You were both in Skull and Bones, the secret society.

President Bush: It's so secret we can't talk about it.

Russert: What does that mean for America? The conspiracy theorists are going to go wild.

Preside nt Bush: I'm sure they are. I don’t know. I haven't seen the (unintelligible) yet. (Laughs)

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Casino II: The Sequel 

Testimony of attorney Michael Lazaroff before the Missouri Gaming Commission on Aug. 30, 2000 alludes to the illegal skimming of Las Vegas casinos that Frank Fertitta Jr. had knowledge of in 1979. Federal wiretaps recorded Fertitta Jr. having telephon e conversations with casino executive Carl Thomas, who was involved in the Tropicana, Stardust, Fremont and Hacienda skimming operations of the Mafia. The latter three casinos were then operated under the ownership of the Argent Corp. Participants in the skim included the Kansas City, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Chicago Mafia families.

Fe rtitta Jr. was the founder of Station's casino. But when Station's applied for a Missouri gaming license in 1992, his son, Frank Fertitta III, signed the papers because Ferttita Jr. was listed by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies as being a known assoicate of organized crime figures.

The hearings in the summer of 2000 had to do with Lazaroff illegally influencing the decisions of Robert Wolfson, a previous chairman of the gaming commission. Note that the gaming commissioner, who is asking Laza roff for a clarification, doesn't know anything at all about Fertitta Jr.'s background.

Readers of the Riverfront Times never got to know anything about Fertitta Jr.'s, either, because the reporter who wrote the story failed to provide any back ground on him even though he knew about Fertitta's reputation.

During the entire year that Station's was under investigation, the RFT continued to run full-page ads for the casino, at the same time that it delayed coverage on the growing scanda l.

Ironically, the outside counsel representing Station's in the Lazaroff matter was David Helfrey, the federal prosecutor who tried the so-called Strawman cases in Kansas City between 1980 and 1986, which resulted in the convictions of 19 mobsters. During one of these trials, Fertitta's association with Thomas and the Mafia skimming operations were entered into evidence.

The RFT reporter omitted this from his cover story on Lazaroff, too. Argent, Fremont and Carl Thomas -- are all mentioned in Lazaroff's testimony. But few people outside the hearing room ever knew the words were spoken.

THE WITNESS (Michael Lazaroff): Okay.
6 I believe to this day that but for my
7 relationship -- and I could be -- I could be comple tely
8 w ro ng -- but for my relationship with Chairman Wolfson,
9 Station Casinos wouldn't have received the opportunity to
10 present a full case for their rightful licensure here in
11 Missouri.
12 Because during this time they were turned do wn
13 in Indiana for sure, and I think one other jurisdiction
14 during the same time frame, in the exact same time frame.
15 COMMISSIONER BATTLE: This may not be
16 appropriate at this time, but I'm kind of lost a little
17 bit as to why were they turned down, and somehow or
18 another I have missed out on Frank Jr. and Frank III.
19 Did you mention that in your earlier testimony?
20 What -- what was --
21 THE WITNESS: You mean who they are?
22 COMMISSIONER BATTLE: Who they are, the
23 relationship, why were they turned down and some of the
24 things that you're alluding to right now.
1 MR. BRADLEY: Yeah. Explain to her that Frank
2 Jr. was --
3 THE WITNESS: He's the father.
4 MR. BRADLEY: -- the father of Frank III.
5 THE WITNESS: Frank Jr. was the father. He
6 founded the companies that eventually b ecame Statio n
7 Casinos. Frank III is his son. Frank III -- excuse me.
8 Frank Jr. was the subject, and -- and I don't have all of
9 the facts here -- well, was the subject of a Federal
10 investigation with respect to skimming in -- the F reemont?
11 MR. BRADLEY: Argent.
13 MR. BRADLEY: Argent?
14 THE WITNESS: Freemont, I think. Some hotel
15 in -- in -- in Las Vegas.
16 For whatever reas on, which I d on't know, all of
17 that took place here in Kansas City, all -- all of the
18 Federal proceedings. So there was a -- there was a great
19 sensitivity to it here.
20 And later on this was the unexplained death of
21 a man by the name of Carl Thomas, who was supposed to be a
22 witness against them. And, in fact, one of the agents
23 here was on his -- was supposed to fly somewhere to meet
24 him, and he was dead in a car accident. [to be continued]

The Post, Circa 1945: "Mobsters, Gangsters, Rackets" 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 14, 1945
Egan Gangsters Invade Cicero, Offer Bribes for Gambling "Rigbts"
One Murder and 7 Kidnappings Follow Move of St. Louis Mobsters in Take Over Rackets in Chicago Suburb

by the Staff Correspo ndent of the Post-Dispatch
(copyright 1945, Pulitzer Publishing Co.)
Chicago, March 14 -- Eagan gangsters and their associates from St. Louis "moved into" Chicago a year ago in an attempt to take over the gambling rackets of the dwindling Capone syndicat e -- an a ttempt which was accompanied by one kidnapping and murder and seven other kidnappings, the Post-Dispatch learned here today. ...

Repeatedly in the course of their Chicago inquiry Post-Dispatch reporters crossed the trail of St. Louis Sheriff Jo hn F. Doug herty of St. Louis and Gregory E. Moore, who resigned as Dougherty's chief deputy recently following disclosure by the Post-Dispatch of his police record and those of other Dougherty deputies. Dougherty himself, as the Post-Dispatch revealed has been a pa rt owner of the notorious Hyde Park gambling establishment on the East Side, and has been arrested in the company of Eagan gangsters when they were active here years ago. ..."

So the St. Louis Sheriff was dirty in 1945. What's that got to do with anything? Well, Dougherty was the father-in-law of Doc Lawler, steamfitter boss Larry Callanan's right-hand man. Lawler later helped William Clay Sr. get his start in politics, at the aldermanic level. Clay's son, Lacy (Clay backwards) has taken h is father's seat in Congress.

Mostly, though, I just get a kick out the fact that Post used to use words like mobster, gangster, rackets and syndicate.

It's also worth noting that Ald. A.J. Cervantes’ cab company, Laclede Cab, would solicit r ide rs at Union Station to take them to the Hyde Park Casino in East St. Louis. Sheriff Dougherty was part owner of Hyde Park. Cervantes later became mayor. During his tenure as mayor, Life magazine ran a story by former Globe reporter Denny Walsh about Cervantes’ mob connections, including Tony Giordano, Morris Shenker and Cuckoo gangster Jimmy Michaels, who also held a fitters card. (Michaels' heating and air conditioning company got the no-bid contract to install the air conditionin g in the Gateway Arch.)

Who owned half or more of Laclede Cab in the 90s? Lawyer Amiel Cueto and his client Thomas Venezia, the convicted racketeer. Did the Post ever call Venezia a gangster. No. He was always businessman. If you're only arrested for murder twice in St. Louis, I suppose you're still a businessman. After all, he wasn't indicted or convicted. Besides, those two murders of black laborers, back in the early 60s, were so very long ago.

A Copper's Christmas at June's Whorehouse 

On June 20, 1955, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat ran a story about the late Mrs. Lyntz, brothel keeper. ...

Woman Tells of "Policemen's Night" at Parlor Operated by Mrs. Lytz

About 20 police officers attended "Policemen's Night" Christmas parties that Mrs. June Alma Lyntz, slain disorderly house operator, staged in June's Bath and Massage Parlor at 308A North Theresa Ave., a woman acquaintance has told authorities.

The woman, who said she did not know the sort of place Mrs. Lytz was running, has told investigators the parties were given every year for about three or four years prior to 1947.

She said the officers, some in uniform and some in plainclothes, were served ham, roast beef, potato salad and other food and also drinks.

The officers, she said, came in groups of about five at different times, staying from a half an hour to an hour. While they did drink, none got intoxicated, she said. ...

The woman said she never saw Mrs. Lytz give any of the officers money, but that Mrs. Lytz always escorted the officers past a small sideroom where there was a heap of Christmas presents. Whether the officers were given any presents the woman did not know. ...

The woman acquaintance said that among the officers who used to attend the Christmas parties were former Police Lt. Louis Shoulders and former Patrolman Elmer Dolan, now serving federal prison sentences for perjury in connection with the missing Greenlease ransom. ...

Globe April 29, 1956
Four Policemen Accuse d of Taking Bribes
Report Describes Prostitution Racket Payoffs

Four police officers were accused of accepting bribes in a special investigation report given the Board of Police Commissioners by Circuit Attorney Edward L. Dowd, the Globe-Democra t was informed yesterday.

The report of more than 50 pages, contains statements made by Mrs. Ruby Hoffman, 41-year-old alleged brothel operator, describing how the prostitution rackets operated in St. Louis from 1953 through last year with the help of ce rtain money-hungry officers.

Mrs. Hoffman, it was learned, told investigators that she paid some officers named $50 a month and others up to $100 a monthly.

Police named include two former high-ranking members of the department, a former officer of the Morality Squad, and another known among some fellow officers "The Collector."

One officer brazenly accepted the bribes in his office at the police station, where he was assigned, Mrs. Hoffman declared.

One of the accused is former Police Lt. Louis Shou lders, now in prison for perjury in the handling of the missing $300,000 Greenlease ransom money. She said she paid Shoulders regularly until the Greenlease scandal broke.

So this was happening in 1956. When did the police department inaugerate the "Hoodlum Squad?" In 1956, of course. Looks like a PR job to me. The point is Doherty had been with the police department since 1943, a time of widespread corruption within the department and the Sheriff Department, too. Callanan and the fitters had been running the town. You can say it slacked off under Mayor Tucker and Circuit Attorney Dowd, but, realistically, it continued because look who became mayor in the 60s -- Cervantes.

Say Cheese: Like Father, Like Daughter? 

St. Louis Business Journal story from Sept. 21, 1998 on Castle Contracting's owner Julie Cusumano. Castle is cited for building projects for Wash U, Monsanto and the Casino Queen. Cusumano credits her father for teaching her his business acumen.

"My father (John Cusumano of Fresh Warehousing) has been my ultimate mentor on the business side and watching him run his business gave me the courage to run my business on my own." ...

go back twelve years ...

St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Feb. 25, 1986

Distributor arrested in sale of surplus cheese
A Produce Row operator has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with selling more than 10,000 pounds of cheese that had been earmarked for the poor and for schoolchildren.

John Cusumano was arrested after allegedly accepting $7,537 for th cheese.

Cusumano's company, Fresh Inc., 1220 First St., had a contract with the Missouri Departments of Social Services and Education to distribute surplus commodities from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture. ...

Correction, Feb. 26, 1986
It was incorrectly reported in Tuesday's editions of the Globe-Democrat that a company owned by John V. Cusumano is in St. Louis' Produce Row. The company, Fresh Inc., is at 1220 N. First St.

Guilty Plea in cheese case, Oct. 22, 1986
John V. Cusumano, 43, operator of a produce firm, Fresh Inc., 1220 First St., pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of selling 10,000 pounds of cheese stored under government contract.

Chief U.S. District Judge JOhn F. Nagle set sentencing for Nov. 21.

Cusumano also pleaded guilty to charges of understating his income by $5,500 on his federal tax return ...

Vito Cusumano's Resume 

I'll always remember how William Stage's RFT cover story made Produce Row look like some kind of benevolent society

Nov. 6, 1939
Escapes from reform school.

Feb. 20, 1946
Charged with stealing 640 sacks of onions. Address listed as 5823 Ridge Ave.

Assistant Circuit Attorney Ed Dowd asked for $50,000 bond to be placed on Cusumano in the Joseph Bommarito murder case.

Nov. 11, 1951
Acquitted by jury for the murder of Joseph Bommarito, a rival produce dealer. The Prosecution's main witness was a black man, who worked for Cusumano at his produce business on Produce Row. Cusumano was 28 years old at the time.

April 3, 1952
Accused of robbing a fellow produce dealer.

Busted by Lt. John Doherty, leader of the St. Louis Hoodlum Squad, for speeding in the 4800 block of Natural Bridge. Identified as an associate of Isadore Londe, notorious St. Louis gangster.

March 4, 1960
Sent to federal mental hospital in Springfield, Mo. for evaluation, after he assaults a witness in the federal court house in St. Louis.

Feb. 17, 1961
Vito Cusumano is identified as a produce dealer in a news story. He is sentenced to six months in jail for assault. At the time, the story indicated that Cusumano was 38 years old. He weighs in at 300 pounds.

Feb. 15, 1962
Vito Cusumano witness to the murder of Edward G. Brown, owner of th Tic Toc Club, 421 DeBaliviere. Identified in a news story as a former convict who worked at a auto parts store.

March 18, 1962
Mentioned in the investigation of the murders of Elmer "Dutch" Dowling and Melvin J. Beckman on March 3, 1962.

Oct. 13, 1962
Cusumano convicted of perjury for giving false testimony in the Brown murder case.

Held as a suspect on arson charges pertaining to the torching of a Ben Franklin dime store at 1906 S. Broadway. Lt. Doherty arrested Cusumano at his apparent address listed as 5821 Nina Place.

Aug. 5, 1963
Wanted for eight unsolved bombings of grocery stores in the area, six Kroger and two Nationals.

Aug. 17, 1963
Cleared of the bombing in East St. Louis, when a witness couldn't identify him.

Carnahan Trivia 

The late Gov. Mel Carnahan's father was in politics, too. Congressman A.S.J. Carnahan of Ellsinore, Mo. served six terms in Congress, beginning in 1944. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he traveled to Guetemala in 1957 to "see how they're getting along under the new democracy," as he put it. The CIA had overthrown the democratically-elected government of President Jacobo Arbenez in 1954.

The elder Carnahan later served as the ambassador to the African nation of Sierre Leone during the Kennedy administration.

On Broadway -- In Caruthersville 

If you go down and rummage through the Ethics Commission's files in Jeff City, it shouldn't take too long for you to run into political contributions to state Democrats from a company called Broadway Music in Caruthersville, Mo. Broadway Music has been ma king large donations to the Missouri Democratic Party for decades. The bucks contributed by the Caruthersville jukebox and vending machine company are comparable to whales such as Eugene Slay, Floyd Warmann and Pipefitter's Local 562. We're talking $5,000 a pop.

Now drive down to Caruthersville and poke around. It might help if you have an ex-con and former federal informant leading you by the hand. I did a few years ago.

Jim Green is dead now. He died last year down in Florida of heart disease. Back in the 60s, he was a bootlegger in Carthursville. That sounds like an anachronism but it wasn't. Prohibition never ended in some dry counties in nearby states such as Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. Running whiskey from the Bootheel was a big busines s. A big illegal, and untaxed business, I might add. Green worked for for mobster Lee J. "Jaybird" Gatewood, owner of the Climax bar.

Caruthersville was rife with lots of other rackets in those days, too. Prostitution and gambling were big. If you wer e charitable in your assessment, you say that city,county, and state officials turned a blind eye to most of these illegal activities. A lot of people would tell you that all these folks were on the take, as well.

Green also worked for a cousin by th e name of Bo Young who ran Broadway Music. He told me that he would drive portion of the money up to St. Louis each week for Buster Wortman, the Eastside mob boss. The cut that Wortman got was protection money, of course. All these guys are dead now.

But some things in Caurthersville remain the same. In 2001, Green showed me around town. Everywhere we stopped -- the cafe, the bar, the gas station -- there were several video poker machines. Green said they belonged to Broadway Music, which distributed the m in a five-county area of the Missouri Bootheel. Of course, none of these machines paid off, right? That would have been illegal.

Today's Word Puzzle 

courtesy of Danny Casolaro's notes

computer chip set -- Virginia McCullough

folder 1, page 4
Roberta, W. Clement Stone
short leash

Viedeiks -- Commission
Universal Systems
T Systems
Rad ...?

Alan Black -- arrogant government lawyer
Maxine Waters ...
Bruce Young -- former state
Pete Murphy -- chief investigator in San Francisco
Christic Institute
Bernie Cornfield (feld) -- Bob Frye and Vesco know each

.... Nichols' girlfriend used to be a biker

TCS did the work

Clint Walker -- Bob Nichols + Dr. Strangelove

Harold ORenoto(?)
Dr. No Files (circled)

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The Rallo Saga Deepens: Chestnut Consulting, Bull Moose Tube and Lord Swraj Paul of Marleybone 

The first time I heard of Bull Moose Tube was about 10 years ago. The manufacturing company had a plant out in Gerald, Mo., which was one of the 28 dioxin-contaminated sites that were part of the EPA's Times Beach Superfund clean up. I liked the name Bull Moose Tube and used it in the lede of one of my cover stories on Times Beach. Bull Moose, by the way, makes steel tubing. A long time ago it was a Canadian company called Barton Tubing Why they changed the name, I don't know. Maybe a subsequent owner was member of the Order of the Moose. Or maybe it was named in honor of Bullwinkle. It will probably remain forever a mystery.

When I started backgrounding the Rallos about a year or so ago, I found this weird case involving a British Lord of East Indi an descent named Lord Swraj Paul of Marleybone, Bull Moose Tube and CRM and CMRI, companies controlled by the Rallos. The only reference to any of these companies being connected that I could find in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was a two-sentence blurb in a 1995 Jerry Berger column.

Phantom of the Steel Mill
by C.D. Stelzer

The 1998 lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in St. Louis, involved a compensation dispute between the owner of Caparo Steel and its former executives, who claimed they were eligible to reap the benefits of a "phantom stock plan" set up by the company.

The court ruled in favor of the executives, awarding them each multi-million dollar settlements. Senior executive Charles Emmengger received a total of more than $5 million, while the court awarded executive James E. Riley more than $1.8 million.

At issue were the terms of a phantom stock plan that Caparo Industries agreed to in 1988, at the time that it bought Bull M oose Tube, a steel tube fabricator, from its previous owner, N ational Intergroup. The $39-million sale had been delayed because senior management of Bull Moose Tube wanted an equity stake in the company. To maintain complete control of the company, Caparo agreed to the phantom stock deal instead. Under the terms of the agreement, Bull Moose Tube's upper management did not receive direct shock certificates in the company, but, rather, "phantom" shares that were, nonetheless, tied to company's performance.

Caparo Industries was owned by Lord Swraj Pa ul of Marleybone, a British steel baron of East Indian descent, living in London. Paul, who was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, claimed that he had been "born above a steel mill," according to court documents. Paul's sons Ambar, Akash and Angad were all active in the British parent company, Caparo Industries, as well.

In 1992, Paul informed Bull Moose executive Emmenegger that he was interested in entering the steel-making industry in the U.S. Two years later, the two visited Shar on Steel Co. in Farrell, Pa. The company consisted of 180 buildings and 400 acres of land, according to court documents. Sharon Steel, which had been out of business, at that point, for two years, had obsolet e equipment dating back to the 1960s. In October 1994, Paul's Caparo Industries bought Sharon Steel at a bankruptcy auction for $26 million.

Caparo Steel, the U.S. subsidiary of Caparo Industries, was incorporated in December 1994, with Bull Moose executives acting in a dual capacity as officers of the newly creating steel-making company.

Caparo set an ambitious goal of getting the old Pennsylvania steel plant operational by April 1995. To that end, Emmenegger hired St. Louis-based CMR Construction Co., which was owned by Michael and Charles "Chuck" Rallo, to get the plant started up. The court record doesn't indicate that the subcontracted construction work went through a formal bidding process. Court documents, however, do state that Emmenegger had been on the board of advisors of CMR for three years. In addition, the court records make clear that "no formal contract between Caparo Steel and CMR was ever signed."

According to court records, Caparo Steel retained CMRI to act as maintenance contractor for the facility at a monthly rate. CMRI was a joint venture between CMR and several other large subcontractors involved in the start up.

Production at Caparo Steel began on schedule in April 1995. In June of that year, Paul celebrated the reopening by hosting an open house at the plant. At t he festivities, the British tycoon lauded Emmenegger and the other members of Caparo's management team, presenting them engraved watches as a token of his appreciation.

But, according to the court record, Caparo immediately began losing money. In Octob er, CMRI sent Emmenegger a contract proposal, but Paul prohibited his him from signing any agreement with the contractor. Instead, Caparo kept paying the maintenance bill on a month-to-month basis.

Around this time, Paul began voicing concern that the R allo-controlled company was exploiting its relationship with Emmenegger. Paul asked for an internal audit by the accounting firm of Coopers & Lyland. Coopers reported that CMRI had done "quality work" and "made an investment," but the accounting firm als o discovered problems. Coopers found that "the company's maintenance structure was fragmented." Moreover, "procedures for using outside contractors were unclear, and maintenance support systems were lacking." The accounting firm stated that Caparo's man agement had been eager to use CMRI and that, in return, CMRI "had been too opportunistic to offer ways of controlling these costs."

A revised report by Coopers in February 1996 was more damning. "The report indicated that Caparo Steel could have realized $222,000 in savings by contracting directly with the five largest subcontractors, rather than using CMRI as an intermediary," according to court records. "In addition, it found that CMRI was charging its seven percent management fee on its fixed costs, which was contrary to Coopers' 'understanding' of the parties' unwritten agreement. The discrepancy amounted to $53,000. Coopers also identified another $538,000 in costs that it believed had not been allocated to specific projects.

Finally, at Paul's prompting, the accounting firm sent a letter to him dated March 8, 1996, which detailed how "approximately $7 million of the $30 million that Caparo had spent on the start up represented unexpected costs. Of this $7 million, Coopers reported that $710,000 of cost overrun related to charges by CMR or CMRI." The remaining cost overruns of approximately $6 million were due low productivity and operating practices.

Referring to the letter, Paul claimed that CMR and CMRI had "raped" him of $2 million. Judge Catherine Perry, of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Missouri, believed that Paul had overstated his case. In her decision, she wrote: "While it is true that Caparo Steel's controls could have been stronger during the initial months that company operated , and that CMRI was responsible for certain overcharges (albeit not approaching the scale Paul believed), even the several Coopers reports show no thing more than, in hindsight, some poor management decisions."

By early 1996, conditio ns at the steel plant had further deteriorated and Paul became locked in battle with his own American managers. Paul testified at trial that the (phantom) shareholders threatened his company with financial collapse by threatening to cash out en masse. Pa ul accused Emmenegger of blackmailing him and running the company like a shop stewart and not a president of a company. Ultimately, Paul fired Emmenegger and Ritzie in March 1996 and refused to honor the "phantom" stock plan, which is how the case ended u p in court.

Not content with the accounting firm's report, Paul sent one of his British underlings to St. Louis, in February 1996, to investigate an earlier business deal and land transaction involving Emmenegger and the Rallos.

This is where the trai l gets somewhat murky. In 1991, Bull Moose Tube's holding company purchased an office building in St. Louis County to use as its headquarters, paying $2.8 million to the Clarkson Oaks Partnership for the property. As a part of the same deal, Bull Moose ag reed to a five-year contract with Chestnut Consulting to provide the building's management for a fee of $36,000 a year. In return, Chestnut was to handle tenant complaints, negotiate contracts with maintenance vendors and coordinate several improvements t o the physical plant. The two principals of Chestnut were none other than Michael and Charles "Chuck" Rallo, who also just happened to be the principal owners of Charter Oaks and CMR. Emmenegger, of course, had served a three-year tenure on CMR's board of advisers.

Two years later, Chestnut, the Rallo-controlled management company, suggested that Bull Moose buy four a cres of additional land, which was located next to the company's headquarters. Coincidentally, Charter Oaks, also a Rallo-controlled com pany, owned the adjacent land. Bull Moose paid a total of $750,000 for the property. But it was a rather convoluted financial transaction. The bank handling the sale rejected Bull Moose's initial offer of $700,000, saying it would accept it only if Charter Oaks, the seller, agreed to kick in additional funds. So Bull Moose wrote a $25,000 check to Charter Oaks, which turned around and gave it back to the bank. Meanwhile, Chestnut, the other Rallo company, received a $25,000 fee for arranging the sale.

At trial, Paul, owner of Caparo Industries, Bull Moose's parent company, cried foul. But the court found none of Emmenegger and the Rallos cozy business dealings to be illegal.

Interestingly, a seemingly unrelated lawsuit, filed in federal district cou rt in St. Louis, also mentions a Rallo-controlled company with the word "Chestnut" in its title. On Nov. 15, 1999, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that on a lawsuit filed by Charles Gitto Sr., Charles Gitto Jr. and Charles Fazio against Ch arles "Chuck" and Judith Rallo and Michael and Karen Rallo. The Gittos and Fazio claimed that they had invested $220,000 through Ozark LLC for property in Branson. But their lawsuit alleged that the money was diverted "to an entity and scheme known as Che stnut Investment," according to the Post-Dispatch.

The plaintifs argued that the defendants had perpetrated mail fraud based on the federal
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO). The Gittos own two Charlie Gitto's restaurants. Fazio owns Joe Fazio's bakery. Charles "Chuck" and Michael Rollo are principal officers in CMR Construction. Also named in the suit were Guaranteed Electrical Co. and Murphy Co. Machanical Contractors and Engineers.

The Rallos lawyer Burt Shostak cou ldn't be reached for comment by the Post reporter. . "...(O)ther lawyers in the case either don't know or won't say what the `Chestnut' entity is, but one said it's in bankruptcy. Ozark LLC was formed to build condos in Branson, but they were ne ver built," the Post reported.

The Missouri Secretary of State's online corporate search page lists two Chestnut Investments both presumably defunct. It is unclear whether either Chestnut Investment is related to the Rallo's Chestnut Consultant s. Joseph Scavuzzo of 1108 Northwest 70th Court in Kansas City owned 100 percent of one of the Chestnut Investments between 1965 and 1975. The other company with the same name belonged to Katherine Sanazaro in 1969. Sanazaro's address is listed as 2111 Edwards Street, which is located in the Italian Hill neighborhood of St. Louis.

The Mysterious Chestnut Investment Co. 

On Nov. 15, 1999, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a brief story on a lawsuit filed by Charles Gitto Sr., Charles Gitto Jr. and Charles Fazio against Charles N. and Judith Rallo and Michael J. and Karen Rallo.

That's a lot of Charlies to keep straight.

Here's the gist of the case:

The Gittos and Fazio claimed that they had invested $220,000 through Ozark LLC for property in Branson. But their lawsuit alleged that the money was diverted "to an entity and scheme known as Chestnut Investment."

The plaintifs argued that the defendants had perpetrated mail fraud based on the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO).

The Gittos own two Charlie Gitto's restaurants. Fazio owns Joe Fazio's bakery. Charles and Michael Roll o are principal officers in CMR C. Construction. Also named in the suit were Guaranteed Electrical Co. and Murphy Co. Machanical Contractors and Engineers.

The Rallos lawyer Burt Shostak couldn't be reached for comment by Post reporter Fred Fa u st. "...(O)ther lawyers in the case either don't know or won't say what the `Chestnut' entity is, but one said it's in bankruptcy. Ozark LLC was formed to build condos in Branson, but they were never built," Faust reported.

The Missouri Secretary of State's online corporate search page lists two Chestnut Investments both presumably defunct. Here they are:

Owners for the Business Entity with Charter Number X00137866

Name Street City/State/Zip Ownership
1 Joseph Scavuzzo 1108 Northwest 70th Court Kansas City, MO 100%

Business Entity with Charter Number 00118038

Business Type Domestic Profit State of Business MO
Status Date 01/01/1977 Status FF
Registration Date 09/29/1965 Current Name Date 09/29/1965
Expiration Date Perpetual Report Period : 12/31
Last AR Filed 07/29/1975 Last AR Year 1975
Name Katherine Sanazaro Authorization Date 11/26/1969
Street 2111 Edwards Street City/State/Zip St. Louis, MO

Samuel Joseph Scavuzzo, a person with the same last name as the owne r of the first mentioned Chestnut Investment of Kansas City, was arrested for felony theft in Greene County (Springfield), Mo. last year:


Feb 26, 2003 Greene County Page 1
5:14 pm Springfield, MO
D O C K E T S H E E T for 302CF6247
__________________ ______________________________________________________________
Date Filed: 07/01/02 Style: ST VS SAMUEL SCAVUZZO
Judge : 005

Judge Calvin R Holden Judge

Plaintiff 1 Attorney 417 868-4061 Gen

Defendant 1 Attorney 417 869-6159 Gen


In the Front Door out the Back: The Strange Case of Ramac Corp. 

As through this world I've rambled,
As through this world I've roamed,
I've never seen an outlaw evict a family from their home.
Some people will rob you with a six gun.
Some a fountain pen.
-- from the Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd by Woody Guthrie

Bankruptcy No. 76-704B Chapter X Proceedings
Rulings by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, May 17 and Nov. 9, 1976 on the matter of the Ramac Corp.'s bankruptcy


The Court from the orgal arguments and evidence makes the following findings of fact:

1. Debtor Ram ac Corporation, was a duly organized Missouri Corporation and was the fee owner of the land and building at 1034 S. Brentwood Blvd., Richmond Heights, St. Louis County, Mo. 63117.

2. First National Bank in St. Louis furnished the construction loan fo r $ 13,600,000.00 and took a first deed of trust from Ramac.

3. Trustees of General Electric Pension Trust advanced $9,520,000.00 to First National BAnk and the bank released its deed of trust, and, Ramac by warranty deed, deeded the fee in land and bui l din g to Trustees.

4. Trustees leased the building to Ramac for sixty years, with a first deed of trust on leashold, and the bank took a second deed of trust on the leasehold. The bank is fu ther secured by a personal note by guarantors for the same amo unt, n a mely, $2,380,000.00, plus interest.

5.The building was constructed by C. Rallo Contracting Co. Inc., and it is a creditor of Ramac.

6. The only shareholder of Ramac is a secretary of C. Rallo Contracting Co. and and sh e did n ot invest any money for her stock. Nick Rallo, Charles Rallo and Peter Rallo are the directors of Ramac.

7. Ramac Corp. (debtor) is operating as an alleged agent for Univers ity Club Center Associates, a partnership, and the partnership i s lea sin g t he building, and handling the same trhough Warren E. Daniels and Co., a leasing agent.

8. The debtor (Ramac), as of April 15, 1976, ownes Trustees $10,090,208.40 and is delinq uent in rent payments from January 1, 1976 to date and on the not e sin ce Au gu st 1975.

9.The debtor (Ramac) owes First National Bank in St. Louis $2,380,000.00 principal and interest to Aug. 26, 1975 in the sum of $826,000.00 plus interest from that d ate.

10.Debtor has a claim from University Club, a tenant only, t ha t i s disputed b y the Club, but, ranges from $900,000.00 to $190,000.00, as the Club claims offset and unsatisfactory work. Whatever amount, it comes "in the front door of debtor (Rama c) and "out the back door" as debtor (Ramac) ownes C. Rallo Contractin g Co.

11. Fi rst National Bank "will not buy out Trustees" or "we cannot completely bail out Ramac." Bank will not loan additional money to debtor except with priority restrictions n ot acceptable to Trustees.

12. Debtor admits he is insolvent, as required t o come un der this Act, and, Court finds corporation hopelessly insolvent , and ift corporation for liquidation.


"... The debtor, Ramac Corp., must be reorganized, not some independent reorganization, and not some independent reorganizat ion subs t ituted. The only creditors available to come forth are First National Bank in St. Louis and it has refused to do so; C. Rallo Contracting Co. and they favor but (are) in no position to financially (to) so do; the partnership, includes fou r Ral los and t heir wives, wi th an indemnity agreement by remaining four partners to the Rallos and there is no evidence, suggestion, or possibility that would or could do so. ...

ORDER [May 17, 1976]

... 1. The Voluntary Petition Under Chapt er X b y Ra mac Co rp., ... debtor, is dism issed at its cost.

2. Order Staying Actions Against the Debtor under R10-601 dated Apriul 22, 1976 is set aside and held for naught.

3. Ramac Corp., debtor, ... shall pay the Referee (Bankruptcy Judge t he sum of $500.00 as reasonable compensation for services rendered. Said payment is to be made to the U.S. Treasurer and delivered to the Chief Clerk of the Bankruptc y Court. ..."

[the judgment releasing Ramac from its debts was r eaffirme d by federal di strict Judge James H. Meredith on Nov. 9, 1976.]

Maybe I don't understand the legalese, but it sounds like Ramac, aka the Rallos, paid $500 to the bankru pticy court and, as a result, got out of more than $12 million in debts asso ciated with the building and ownership of the University Club.

Read on.

Diversified Pork at the East Terminal 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch bylines Mark Schlinkmann and Tim Bryant

"... Family Ties?

The city is paying Kwame Building Group and subcontractors $3 million to manage the East Terminal construction, instead of relying on the airport's own staffer's as it had for past Lambert work.

Kwame is headed by Tony Thompson, whose family has political ties to Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. and County Executive George R. "Buzz" Westfall. Kwame Group has donated to Bosely's campaign committee, as has C. Rallo Contracting Co. which did $2.5 million in site preparation work. ..."

Berger Bit: Larry Williams Keeps it Clean for Rallo 

The Gospel According to Herr Berger

Dec. 3, 2000
"... Residents of the CWE's trendy Euclid Avenue nabe were starled late last week to note a sleek, black city automobile parked sqaurely in the middle of the construction site of the new Argyle parking garage and St. Louis Public Library complex. While they watched, City Treasurer Larry Williams, the cars's driver, walked through the area picking up paper and other debris that a blustery day had depostied among the construction materials. When he had filled bag, Williams carefully deposited it in the trunk of his car and drove sedately away. 'The bonding company has selected a new general contractor, C. Rallo, to start up the work on Monday morning drawled Williams. "An old country boy like me knows that you get bertter work done if you keep your project looking clean.'" ...

Rallo Revisited, the Annotated Entry 

FBI File#183A-773

Below is an excerpt from a verbatim transcript of a St. Louis FBI field office interview with an unnamed informant (most likely the late Jesse Stoneking) on June 18, 1991:

"… [redacted] stated that while he was [redacted] of Arthure Berne, head of the eastside outfit, BERNE had told him that RALLO CONSTRUCTION COMPANY in St. Louis, Missouri, belonged to [redacted] of the Chicago La Cosa Nostra (LCN) at that time. BERNE told [redacted] that if Chicago wanted to buy property, businesses, get loans, or some other such financial transaction it would be done through RALLO CONSTRUCTION COMPANY in St. Louis. …"

Notes from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the Rallos

Rallo Contracting was one of the two construction firms that built the original convention center downtown in 1976, according to the Globe-Democrat

The company also built the county library main branch on Lindbergh.

Nicholas was the son of the the founder Colergo, who died in 1994. Nicholas headed the C. Rallo Contracting from 1970 until his retirement in 1987.

July 23, 1970 Globe clip also associates Nick Rallo as a director of Design International Inc. -- Emmenger's wife's company?

Charles Rallo has a summer home in Victoria, Mo. in 1966. Is that Jefferson County?

Rallo had the contract to rehab the Old Post Office.

Rallo’s other major construction jobs in the St. Louis area included: two campuses of the Junior College District and Lambert Field parking garage. In the early 90s Rallo did prep work for the East Terminal at the airport. Main contractor Kwame.

Micotto family had early ties to Rallo, circa 1950s
R. C. Micotto Construction Co. founded by R.C. Micotto.
widow Gertrude died June 1950
company located at 6918 Landsdale in 1950
Micotto lived at 6226 Itaska
survivors: three sons Charles, pres. of the co.; Sam vice president; and Vincent Micotto of 6441 Murdock, five daughters married names: Arbini, Accola, Hilgard, Weisser and Galati, all of St. Louis.

C. Rallo Contracting Co. founded in 1917.
Calogero Rallo, born Palmero, Sicily; died, age 84, Aug. 1970.
His brother Sam, president of the company, died in June 1970.
Calogero immigrated to St. Louis in 1905.

Nicholas Rallo ran the company from 1970 to 1987.
Nicholas Rallo died in 1994.

In 1989, Nicholas was appointed to the board of directors of CMR Construction, a spin-off of Rallo Contracting.

Rallo family parish St. Gabriel.

Nicholas’ sons Charles N. Rallo and Michael Rallo of Chesterfield and Robert Rallo of Bridgeton.

Nicholas has three brothers: Peter and Charles of the West Coast and Joseph Rallo of St. Louis.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Helfrey Heads East 

After wrapping up the Operation Strawman prosecutions in Kansas City in 1986, Assistant U.S. Attorney David B.B. Helfrey moved to St. Louis and established a private law practice. In 1991, he left the St. Louis law firm of Guilfoil Petzall to start a new partnership, Simon, Helfrey and Jones. Besides the principal partners the other original partners in the firm were Paul Simon Jr., David F. Neiers, Michael Musich and Richard C. Petrofsky. Simon, Helfrey and Jones is located at 226 S. Meramec Ave. in Clayton.

The Punchline 

If you didn't notice, the headline on the cover of this week's Riverfront Times is the first half of an old piece of men's room graffiti: "What are you laughing at? -- The joke is in your hand."

Hellfire and Warmonger 

While doing a spell check at the college computer lab, I discovered that that Warmann is recognized as "warmonger" and Helfrey is recognized as "hellfire."

A Note From the Editor 

Most of the time, I write and edit Media Mayham at home on a 10-year old Mac computer, using Netscape 4.6., and a NetZero dial-up connection. My glitchy browser and/or Blogger.com often put spaces in between letters automatically. In addition, unlike an IBM-Internet Explorer set up my computer doesn't have a spell check. As a result, some entries may have a few errors. Moreover, in some cases, when I cut and paste directly from my harddrive, readers many times are provided with my raw, unedited notes.

20 Years After: Why Would Doherty Stick Up for Webbe? 

In 1983, Lt. Col. John Doherty, then-chief of detectives, wrote a letter asking a federal judge for leniency in sentencing of Sorkis Webbe Sr. Webbe, a criminal defense attorney, had been found guilty of tax evasion involving kickbacks at the Aladdin Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The letter omitted any reference to Webbe's ties to organized crime. Doherty was censured over the matter and forced to testify before an grand jury in Nevada. St. Louis police records were subpoenaed. Seven months later, Doherty resigned under a cloud.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan wrote a column about the flap. He said he found Doherty's troubles both amusing and sad. Amusing because Doherty, a 41-year veteran of the department, had always berated judges for their leniency to criminals. Sad because the tough cop would only be remembered for his last misstep. McClellan and others close to the cop beat suspected that Doherty had written the letter after being asked by Eugene Slay, for whom he moonlighted as a "consultant."

But St. Louis Globe-Democrat reporter Ted Shafers, who knew Doherty when McClellan was still in diapers, remembered the tough cop from another era. "If you gave him any lip, you had a busted lip," said Shafers in a 1994 interview.

Doherty's indiscretion, at the end of his career, would seem to cast doubt on his earlier image as an incorruptible law enforcement officer. If it did, however, nobody in the press ever took a closer look at his record. My hunch is not much has changed inside the police department in the last 20 years or at the one newspaper that still publishes in St. Louis.

The Good Old Days: John Doherty and the Hoodlum Squad 

There are conflicting versions of what happened on the night of Nov. 12, 1952. In one version, John Randazzo, a 39-year-old produce truck driver, is described as being seriously injured in an assault inside Genovese's Steak House at 819 Lucas Street in downtown St. Louis.

No police report was filed on the case until three days later, when St. Louis Globe-Democrat reporter Ted Shafers, acting on a tip, interviewed Randazzo in the hospital. The reporter's actions ultimately resulted in an internal police inquiry and two grand jury investigations by the office of then-Circuit Attorney Ed Dowd.

Randazzo had allegedly been beaten by mobster John vital, while police Lt. Michael Quinlisk and another officer were at the restaurant, according to one account. After Randazzo was ejected from the restaurant, police Sgt. John Doherty allegedly arrived with his partner Detective Barney Mundt. Vitale came out of the restaurant and said Randazzo was a friend, who had drank too much, and he would see that his injuries were treated.

According to Randazzo, however, Doherty assaulted him outside the restaurant. Vernon Blair, a taxi cab driver, testified that he heard a thud, turned, and saw Randazzo on the ground with his jaw open and Doherty standing over him.

A t least two police officers, perhaps more, were known to be in the steakhouse, after closing time, with organized crime figures, at the time of the incident.

Although two grand juries investigated the Randazzo affair, no indictments were issued and the St. Louis Police Board gave Doherty a promotion a few months later. Doherty would go on to head the department's "Hoodlum Squad in the 1950s. The press, which in those days spectacularized crime stories, always presented Doherty as a tough, law-and-order cop. Nobody ever questioned why the good guys and the bad guys were both in a mob-owned restaurant near closing time or after hours.

Vitale, the owner of the restaurant, refused to talk about the beating.

In 1994, retired St. Louis Globe-Democrat reporter Ted Shafers reminisced to me about Doherty and the cop beat back in the 50s. At one point, Doherty and a FBI agent took Randazzo to an isolated roadhouse in St. Louis County to try and force a confession from him, Shafers said. "I'll never forget Randazzo describing how they had him down on the ground and stuck this twelve-gauge or sawed-off shotgun in his mouth and said, 'Okay, pray you dago son of a bitch.'"

In later years, Doherty would become a golfing partner and "consultant" for Democratic powerbroker Eugene Slay. Slay is a political ally and former business associate of Paul Simon and the cousin of the current St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. [to be continued]

Sunday, February 08, 2004

From the Streets of St. Louis to the U.S.S.R. 

The notes on Eugene Slay that follow include some choice areas of investigation. There's the money that David Slay owed Dominic Pasco of the Dunes casino in Vegas, which was fronted by Morris Shenker. Then there's the whole cable TV mess from the 80s. Also noteworthy is Slay's connections to the late Col. Doherty of Hoodlum Squad fame. From looking at the clips, I've always suspected Doherty was working both sides of the street.

Perhaps the most curious nuggets mined from the Slay clips, though, are the references to the wild career shift of St. Louis Street Director William J. Wilson. In December 1975, Wilson, a chemical engineer, took a leave of absence from his city job to help build a chemical plant in the Soviet Union. Wilson's work in the U.S.S.R was for Ecology Controls Inc., a Slay company with offices in the Mansion House in downtown St. Louis. Ecology Controls was providing management services for a French company, Ste. Entrepose. After returning, Wilson was employed by Slay.

Wilson's trip to the U.S.S.R is an intriguing footnote to the diversity of Slay's operations, if nothing else. But I can't help but wonder why a Midwest barge-fleeting operator would get the nod to help build a chemical plant for the commies during the Cold War? Sounds pretty weird to me.

Monsanto Chemical, of course, was the biggest customer of Slay's barge fleeting operations. From 1968 until the early 1990s, one of Monsanto's top executives was Earle H. Harbinson, whose earlier career included a 18-year stint as a
deputy director of the CIA.
clips notes from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and St. Louis Post-Dispatch

City Street Director William J.Wilson plans to take an unpaid four to six month leave in January to direct the start-up of a chemical plant in the Soviet Union.

Wilson confirmed Wed. that he has entered into a consultant contra ct with Ecology Controls Inc., a firm headed by St. Louis Democratic fund-raiser Eugene P. Slay, to head the firm's management team in the constrution of a chemical plant about 800 miles southwest of Moscow.

Ecology Controls is providing managment ser v ices for a French corp. Ste. Entrepose, which is building the plant. ....Wilson is a chemical engineer.

The STL Bd of Public Service has been urge to aprove fanchises for two private frms to operate foreign trade zones in the city. ....
Bi-S ta te Warehousing is owned by Slay. T.M. Tahan, general counsel for Bi-State Warehousing said the firm has available 40,000 to 60,000 sq ft of warehousing and factory space at its 2nd St. facility with further expanson possible there an at a 10-cre site at the foot of Gasconade. ...

Wilson disqualified himself from any decsions relating to foreign tr ade zone becaus of his relationship to Slay.

12/7/75 Post
the Russian plant makes paracresol. Paracresl also produces byproducts that can be used to maufacture plastic and paper.

The History of the Slay Machine 

Mayor Francis Slay is the cousin of longtime Democratic powerbroker Eugene Slay, who has made a fortune in the shipping and barge fleeting industries. Gene Slay has his offices over on Hampton just up the block from the Denny's restaurant. But he also holds court down at St. Raymond's, where Judge Paul Simon is also on the board of directors. Simon, as reported yesterday, is the senior partner in the law firm of Simon, Helfrey and Jones. While Simon dedicates his legal talents strictly to "mediation," Helfrey, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, specializes in defending white collar crime. Helfrey, as earlier reported, represented Station's Casino in 2000, when the gambling company was accused of illegally influencing Missouri Gaming Commission decisions.

I just dug up my notes on Eugene Slay and they show that Simon was his business partner in the 60s. Also, Simon acted as Slay's attorney before being named to the bench. The Slay-Simon political alliance isn't a secret, of course, but it's rarely mentioned nowadays. These guys may be old, but just like Floyd Warmann and former Gov. Warren Hearnes -- they're not dead yet. One thing I just noticed is that attorney Thomas Connelly represented Slay back in the 70s. Connelly is still Warmann's attorney. The Machine is alive and well in St. Louis, but the press refuses to acknowledge as much. A lot good reporters have worked for decades uncovering the Slay machines machinations. They have provided a foundation for future reporting -- for those willing to challenge the status quo. Here are some of my notes on Eugene Slay and his family, culled from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Eugene P. Slay, active in Democratic politics
son John R. Slay former alderman of the 7th Ward

Eugene president of Slay Bulk Terminals.
Ray Leisure in 1964 was alderman of 7th Ward
Paul J. Simon Dem. Committeeman of 7th Ward
lease dispute over city-owned riverfront property south of Barton Street.

Donald Gunn then president of the board of aldermen
Director of Streets Alfred H. Beck.

bill to approve a 25-year lease on the property approved by the board of aldermen for use as a chemical storage terminal, $525 a month, passed.

Chemtech efforts to secure same lease failed, after a year effort.

Mayor Raymond Tucker signed bill authorizing Slay Bulk Terminals Inc. to receive lease over Chemtech.

Chemtech's efforts died in 9th Ward Aldermen Louis Aboussie's committee. Abossuie's sister-in-law (Mrs. Alex Aboussie) is a sister of Eugene Slay's late Mother, Mrs. Mary Massud Slay.

Chemtech located in Maplewood.

March 3, 1964
lease dispute delays expansion of Coast Guard facility at the foot of Iron St.


Ald. Leisure said he went along with the Slay bill to keep peace in the political family.

After the death in 1960 of State Sen. James M. Webbe (Dem), Fourth Dist., who also was democratic committeeman of the Seventh Ward, Eugene Slay went to Leisure and demanded he be named to succeed Webbe as state senator, Leisure said. At the time Slay said the trucking industry needed someone from the 7th Ward in the senate. Instead, Leisure named Sorkis J. Webbe to fill the unexpired term of his cousin and named John Webbe, a brother of James, to the committee post.. Sorkis Webbe now is public administrator and John Webbe resigned from the committee and was replaced by Simon.

The Slays opposed Leisure in the aldermanic race two years ago. ...

Bee Line, at 718 S Seventh St, owned by his father, John Slay, a former 7th Ward alderman. Slay is also president of Slay Warehouse Inc. 2868 S. 13th St

A $276,480 contract for the transportation of voting machines in the city was awarded to the Bee Line Trucking Co. by the Board of Election Commissioners, after the company had a second chance to submit a low bid ... four-year contract awarded 9/15/61 ... erasure marks on the forms ... the apparent low bidder was Sloan's Moving and Storage age Co., 950 Hodimont, Slay denied knowledge of erasures.

bids were received originally by Election Board headed by Michael L Galli. Galli changed jobs and became director of the Federal Housing Administration in St. Louis

Slay elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City.

Slay received help from Aldermen Louis Aboussie to get riverfront lease. Bill authorizes the city comptroller to lease five acres of riverfront to Slay. John Poelker was then comptroller.

Secretary of State was then Warren Hearnes. Slay incorporated Slay Bulk Terminals 9-24-63

Incorporators Eugene P. Slay, 5407 Gresham and Paul J. Simon, 2345 Lafayette Avenue. Simon is a lawyer and deputy cornoner

John W. Martino was then alderman in the 9th Ward, where the riverfront lease property was located. He held up Chemtech's bid until Slay could get his approved.

byline on Post stories Edw. H. Thornton
Slay used Chemtech's plan. Slay told the Post he got copies of Chemtech's plan, which was drawn by Vollmar Brothers, from Monsanto. Monsanto denied it.

At least 40 percent of the bulk chemicals at the facility would go to Monsanto Queeny's plant.

Chas. Smith then manager of Queeny plant. 100,000 tons a year.

John Slay dies, father of Eugene. Born in NY, son of Syrian immigrants. Eugene's brother is named Henry.

Eugene has four sisters
John Vesonowski
Mrs. Dadeeh Ander
Mrs. Robert Mahfood (current DNR director has same last name)
Mrs. Warren Wamser four step bros.
William, Michael, and Philip Amad.

Son John R. Slay Jr and brother Joseph Slay are deceased.
Honorary member of the Knights of Lebanon.

St. Louis Board of Elections paid $4,237 to modify Slay trucks to haul voting machines.

Post 3/12/33
John Slay, World War I hero, served in France. nominated democratic aldermanic seat in 1933. trucking co. then located at 930 Hickory St. parents born in Syria. He was born in New York in 1895. Mother remarried, Mrs. Star Amad, 1344 Chouteau. brother Joe in the real estate business.

Returning from war, worked for Fidelity Transfer Co. and then started his own co. in 1923 Slay Motor Service Co. 620-626 S. 7 th St. weighed 26 0 lbs., six kids, hair lost curl. Came back in 1919 weighing 180.

Bee Line Trucking predates Slay Bulk Terminals. Application pending before ICC to operate nationwide.

Francis Slay becomes city's Recorder of Deeds. Slay vying with Eagle Boat and Fuel


Slay asked city Supply Commissioner Chas. F. Schmidt to give Slay's transport firm the entire city limestone contract. Schmidt appointed by Cervantes.

Eagle's request for mooring rights for 7 and a half months. Eagle e president Fred Leyhe called the delay "intolerable, completely frustrating and inconceivable."

mooring rights in contention involved 770 feet of Mississippi River plus 4 acres of land between Victor and Barton Streets.

A plea by Robert. B. Schilli president of Truck Transport Inc. that the city reconsider any decision already made to force the Mississippi Lime Co. to give the bulk of its hauling business under a city contract to another co. by last year was ignored by the St. Louis administration. ... Limestone co officers finally capitulated to the demands of Schmidt and Slay on March 3, 1966 Slay Transportation Co.

Slay waived a special charge provided in his Missouri tariff schedule in order to obtain the bulk of the lime-hauling biz to the city's water plants last year, according to Post (Thornton)

Mayor A.J. Cervantes asked about Schmidt's intervening with the lime company in behalf of Slay Transport. Co. said, " I admit it was unusual. . I'm glad d St. Louis has the biz. "I don't believe there was any pressure put on the contractor whatsoever, and I know Mr. Schmidt."

Eagle Boat Fuel and Supply sues city Board of Public Service over lease dispute.

A firm headed by Slay is seeking lease 10 acres of city-owned property for 30 percent less than a city appraisal has recommended. The tract is on the riverfront behind the South Side incinerator. Slay, president, of Slay Transportation Co., ... bill authorizing a 25-year lease on the property introduced before the Board of Aldermen June 6. .... passed swiftly by June 19.

An investigation by the Post-Dispatch has found that many city-owned sites are leased to politically influential persons at rates substantially below the current market values. The practice is costing St. Louis taxpayers thousands of dollars a year.

Slay is a close friend of Mayor A.J. Cervantes ... a member of the Port Authority, which is supposed to review all mooring leases and other matters pertaining t o the riverfront.

Mayor names 7 to port commission: Arthur Baer (Stix), Harry Craig, atty; Gene Slay (three year appointment); Willard L. Levy, president of Angelica Uniform Co, Peter Fachi, pres of Nilo Barge Line. ... (Nilo is Olin n spelled backwards)

12/8/71 Larry upland, pres of Board of Public Service says the city may cancel the lease on disputed riverfront property so Slay can get it. ...

$5 million terminal complex groundbreaking at foot of Barton St. Slay Bulk Terminal s Inc. , complex will consist of 1.4 million gallon bulk storage facility and distribution equipment capable of handling rail, truck and barge shipments. ... attending Cervantes, Larry C. Upland, city street director;and Sam Bernsten of the Municipal Development Commission


Tow boat company (Eagle) charges city with harassment

MSD clears Slay of flushing tankers into sewers.

March 1, 73 Post (30 years ago, Phil)
Slay Trans. Co. has receive d a special permit from the city that makes legal the parking of the firm's trucks in the 1800, 1900, 2000, blocks of S. Broadway (by line Phil Sutin). Police in recent months have issued hundreds of parking tickets against the firms trucks parked in those blocks

Paul Spelbrink director of streets claimed there was no political influence. Cervantes on vacation in Mexico. Poelker, comptroller, declined to comment.

Slay supports state bill to create a port authority.
"The ex tension drew tie in 1969 when former street director Paul Spelbrink revealed St. Louis Terminals' $37,500 a year payment to the city was less than one and a half percent return on the city's investment.

Ecology Control a subsidiary of Slay Industries.

Slay's special parking permit is opposed by S. Broadway Businessmen's Assoc. and the Soulard neiborhood Improvement Assoc. (Charlene Prost byline)

Paul Simon is Slay's atty. Paid $360 in pa rking fines.

Phil Sutin
Slay Trans. Co is cosidering a truck-barge terminal on Mississippi River at Gasconade as a solution to its parking problems.

280 $10 tickets owed by Slay.

Slay opposes interstate highway from Chicago to KC.

Judge dismisses tickets against Slay
Theodore Tahan, legal counsel for Slay

St. Louis' proposed site for a Union Electric trash transfer station may have been influeneced by the business interests of Eugn e Slay, a trucking firm president with close ties to prominent city Democrats, a Republican alderman has asserted.

... The lawyer for Slay's buisness dealings for years has been Paul E. Simon, newly elected Democratic President of the Board of Aldermen. Slay's cousin is Recorder of Deeds Francis R. Slay.

Slay firm expected to get contract to operate a foreign trade zone in St. Louis.

Bi-State thinks Slay's bid the best. Poelker concurs. CDC under John Roach negotiating w ith Slay for months.

City Street Director William J.Wilson plans to take an unpaid four to six month leave in January to direct the start-up of a new chemical plant in the Soviet Union.

Wilson confirmed Wed. that he has entered into a consultant contract with Ecology Controls Inc., a firm headed by St. Louis Democratic fund-raiser Eugene P. Slay, to head the firm's management team in the construction of a chemical plant about 800 miles southwest of Moscow.

Ecology Controls is providing management services for a French corporation Ste. Entrepose, which is building the plant. ....Wilson is a chemical engineer.

The St. Board of Public Service has been urge to aprove franchises for two private firms to operate foreign trade zones in the city. ....

Bi-State Warehousing is owned by Slay. T.M. Tahan, general counsel for Bi-State Warehousing, said the firm has available 40,00 to 60,000 sq. ft. of warehousing and factory space at its 2nd St. facility with further expanson possible there an at a 10-acre site at the foot of Gasconade. ...

Wilson disqualified himself from any decisions relating to foreign trade zone because of his relationship to Slay.

12/7/75 Post
the Russian plant makes paracresol. Paracreosl also produces byproducts that can be used to maufacture plastic and paper

Henry D. "Hank" Slay, brother of Eugene indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts of making false statements to secure loans. ... (Post Tim Poor)

Henry a favorite of then Gov. Joe Teasdale. Gov funneled patronage jobs through the two brothers.

The indictment sites that he was the defendant in three suits filed by Domenic Pasco, The Dunes Hotel and Country Club and Citizens Bank of University City.

Owed back taxes on state and federal level and had liabilities of $287,000.His stock in Bee Line Trucking was pledged to Missouri State Bank

Lived at 9104 Appoattox Court, Affton and is a trucking executive for Slay Industries. .. Pleaded innocent

July 29, 83
Federal Barge Lines, St. Louis Ship, divisions of Pott Industries. Edw. Renshaw, board chairman and CEO of St. Louis Ship, claimed Slay was using his political influence to get mooring rights at the foot of Gasconade, previously held by Federal Barge/ St. Louis Ship.

Nellene Joyce, ald., D-2 3 Ward backer of Slay.

Aug 6, 83
Riverfront mooring rights approved by Board of Aldermen in favor of Slay. Amendment attached by James Shrewsbury, which would require Coast Guard approval.

Les Pearson, Globe political column
Schoemehl moved in July to to throw Slay out of a Mississippi River barge mooring area.

Schoemehl political opponents were Aldermanic President Thomas Zych, Sorkis Webbe Jr. of the 7th Ward, supporters of Slay.

Federal indictments against them and others shifted the political situation in favor of Schoemehl's re-election. The indictments stemmed from the corruption involving the letting of a cable TV franchise in the city.

Indicted: Webbe Jr. and Sr., Leroy Tyus, James D. Cullen, Zych, Schoemehl's close political ally is city Democratic Party Chairman Joseph P. Roddy, toppled as circuit clerk by Freeman Bosley Jr. , son of of an alderman.

Feds wiretapped Webbe's Mayfair Hotel.

Federal Barge atty Charles Deeba

Deeba said Slay's attempts to strip the mooring rights from St. Louis Ship and Federal Barge followed the refusal by those companies to do business with Slay.

"He wanted to get our fleeting business," said Deeba, "but the company chose not to have him do the business and retained Eagle-Peavey instead.

Another opponent of Slay was Aldermanic Vice President Albert "Red" Villa, 11th Ward includes St. Louis Ship. [Tom Villa would be good source] (byline Les Pearson).

Ald. Bruce Sommer (6th Ward Dem) waffles backs off bill and sides with Shrewsbury's Coast Guard safety amendment. ..

The aldermanic Streets and Wharves Committee plays crucial role in these lease decisions. First Ward Ald. Jo Anne Wayne backed (1st Ward) backed Gasconade plan of Slay's to build $4.5 million warehouse at the Gasconade site.

Deeba of Federal Barge denies to the Board of Aldermen that the company has abandoned St. Louis harbor. ...

Federal Judge James H. Meredith oversaw Hank Slay's trial. Asst. U.S. Attorney David Rosen tried the case.

Eric Rathbone, businessman and Republican candidate for President of the Board of Aldermen

Members of the Streets and Wharves committee in 83: Bosley Sr., Mary Ross, Sam Louis, Martie Aboussie (9th Ward) Louis W. Buckowitz (10th Ward), Joseph Beckerle (13th War) David Kinealy (14th Ward), Michael Jones 21st ward, and Rbt. Ruggeri, 24th Ward.

Martie Aboussie is Deeba's cousin and sided with him over Slay. Also opposing Slay was Ald. Tim Dee (17th Ward).

St. Louis Port Commission records indicate that Slay holds 5,935 liner feet of 27,499 feet of riverfront mooring rights leased to the city.

One of the bills would declare 13 acres at the foot of Gasconade Street blighted and other would approve the redevelopment plan of the Cerre Redevelopment Corp., a Slay Co.

Schoemehl vetoes aldermanic bill giving Slay riverfront mooring rights at the foot of O'Fallon St.

Schoemehl also said in his veto message, "Correspondence from Apex Oil Co. clearly indicates that their operations north of the proposed mooring site would have to be terminated if the fleeting were allowed to take place below their operations. Apex Oil pays sales, property and earnings taxes in excess of $40,000 a year. Additionally, Apex Oil has indicated a willingness to lease to this mooring space, with an understanding that no barges would be moored there, simply to insure that they would have continued access to their current operation site.

William J. Wilson, a Slay executive who was at the aldermanic session Friday had no comment. ...

Eugene Slay helps organize a charity benefit for Lebanon at St. Raymond's Maronite Church, chief organizer Dr. Ray R. Irani, a former St. Louisan who is president of Olin Corp.

A controversial lease of 10 acres so Slay could build a $4.5 millon riverfront warehouse gained backing of the Ald. Streets and Wharves Committee. Only Martie J. Aboussie (D-9th Ward) voted against it.

Aboussie is a cousin of Deeba, St. Louis' ship's attorney, and a past political ally of Slay. Joyce backed the bill.

Board of Aldermen delayed action on proposed riverfront lease to Slay the $4.5 million project would be financed through Planned Industrial Expansion Authority revenue bonds. Schoemehl claims to have no position on the bill at this time.
Olin is based in Stanford, Co nn.

St. Louis may subsidize Slay's riverfront warehouse plans -- one possible method to help the $4.5 million project, 200,000 sq ft. warehouse, would be to apply for a federal Development Action Grant from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. The Planned Industrial Expansion Authority could issue revenue bonds for the project and get tax abatement for the project, says W. Lynn Edwards, St. Louis director of development

23rd Ward Ald. Nellene Joyce is associated with the 23rd Ward Democratic organizaton dominated by Slay's cousin, former Recorder of Deeds Francis R. Slay, and Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter held up action on the bills after Buckowitz objected.

by Jack Flach
Lt. Col. John A. Doherty, chief of detectives, is a long-time friend and golfing companion of Eugene Slay

St. Louis chief of detectives Lt. Col. John A. Doherty is a paid consultant for the Krey Packing Co. in addition to being a consultant for Slay Transportation Co. ... When Doherty asked superiors for permission to work for Slay, Slay was not listed as his employer. The employment request concerned work for Industrial Marketing Inc., which is a Slay firm. ...

Records show the firms's execs are all brother-in-laws of Slay: pres Robert Mahfood, W.W. Wamser,and Badeeh A. Bander.

Slay, Doherty's buddy, gave $17,000 to Gov. Joe Teasdale's campaign.

Teasdale and Doherty have become close friends, partly through mutual friendship with Southside trucking exectuive and Democratic contributor Eugene P. Slay.

Teasdale appoints police commissioners picked by Slay: City Judge Morris M. Rosenthal, Kenneth F. Teasdale, and retired U.S. Postal inspector John A Schicker

Dennis McCarthy
"Col.Doherty does a great deal of work for Slay Transportation," Theodore. M. Tahan, pres of Slay Transportation Inc. told the Globe-Democrat. "Our busineess has many problems, such as theft from cargoes," Tahan said. ...

Doherty went to work for the Slay firm "right after outside employment was approved by the police dept on May 13, 1968, Tahan said.

Doherty, according to Tahan, is formally listed as a consultant for Industrial Marketing Inc., 300 Mansion House Center, suite 2710. ... Slay's name is not listed among officers of the firm, the secretary of state's office said.

Hank Slay visited Jefferson City every week. close to Teasdale. instrumental in naming many in the metro area to state revenue dept. jobs. Dept of Rev. has the largest number of patronage jobs -- 1,600.

The Slay family has been influential in Dem politics for many years. Eugene Slay is a cousin of Recorder of Deeds Francis P. Slay and Paul J. Si mon, ald. pres and long-time friend and ally.

John Schicker is only Slay crony appointed to police commission

Wallace R. Reed has been named vice president of marketing for Slay Industries and Gene L. Pitney ha been appointed general manager. ..

Post (Paul Wagman)
Eugene P. Slay's plans for a foreign trade zone waning as Granite City's Tri-City Regional Port District gain ground. ...

Top leaders of the Teamsters have been accused of perpetrating a national scandal of excesssive salaries, fancy living, expense accounts, lage pensions and other fringe benefits, sweetheart deals with employers .... according to a dissident union organization, PROD, Professional Drivers Council ...

Ed Dorsey, Joint Council 13 pres in St. Louis, secretary-treasurer of Local 618, vice president of the Mo-Kansas Conference was given a 60th birthday party by Slay.

"Slay runs a warehouse and shipping business in the St. Louis area that has a Teamster contract that allows it to pay its dock workers $4.80 an hour and only $21 a week in health and welare and pension payments, while the prevailing hourly rate under the national master freight agreement approaches $7 and hour, supplanted by $43 per week in welfare and pension payments. ...

A spokesman for his firm said that although Slay was a co-sponsor of the Dorsey party at the Chase-Park Plaza in Nov. 1974, all guests paid their own way to the party.

Slay charged with drunk driving , address 6000 block of Guilford Place, stopped by Warrenton police, CB notified cops that black Lincoln Continental was swerving on I-70. Breath test showed .14 alcohol,
limit .10.

Slay's lawyer delayed, asked for change of venue and rescheduled, last clip dated 7/19/80, hearing set for 10/3/80.

officer who arrested Slay was subsequently demoted. Warrenton Patrolman Tom Peak. . Slay's defense claimed that the breathalizer machine wasn't working right.

Bi-State considering leasing property owned by Slay for parking unneeded buses. The cost would be between $50,000 to $120,000.

Nine St.Louis aldermen have inspected the southern part of the city's port in a towboat provided by Eugene P. Slay ... Slay paid the cost of the tour and served lunch. Attending: Jo Anne Wayne, chairwoman of the Streets and Waves Committee, Mary Ross, Sam Louis, Martie J. Aboussie, Virvus Jones, all members of the Streets and Wharves com.

Also attending: James Signaigo, 2nd Ward; Freeman Bosley, 3rd W; Tim Dee, 17th Ward; Dan McGuire, 28th Ward, Gregory Daly, aide to ald pres Thomas E. Zych.

Slay holds four city leases for riverfront or mooring leases all on the south riverfront. On Friday, aldermen are scheduled to debate two bills relating to mooring rights south of MacArthur Bridge.

Meanwhile, the Port Commission voted 4-3 to hire the law frm of Bryan Cave, McPheeters and McRoberts to study the legality of a bill sponsored by Zych that would sharply limit the power of the Port Authority. The measure would give aldermen considerably more control over port matters. ...

Post by Roy Malone
Warren County Prosecutor John Eigel said he dropped a drunken driving charge against Slay because he was told by a state inspector the breath analyzer machine used to determine Slay's intoxication malfunctioned.

U.S. Dist. Judge Clyde S. Cahill ordered Bee Line Leasing Co. Inc. to adopt recruiting practices that encourage blacks and other minorities to apply for employment. ... Ruling in the case of James Cooper who tried to get a job with Bee Line in 1977.

Out of approximately 2,000 applicants for employment with Bee Line over the last 20 years, Cahill said, 4 to 6 blacks have been hired.

City Revenue Collector Ronald A. Leggett has filed suit in St. Louis Circuit Curt seeking payment of $22,394 in personal property taxes allegedly owed for 1979 by a fleeting and harbor service owned by Slay. The order asks Slay Warehousing Co. doing business as Archway Fleeting and Harbor Service to also pay the city bout $3,131 in interest on the taxes as well as attorney fees and other costs bringing the total to $28,218.

Leggett appointed by Teasdale in 77 had the backing of Slay.

Post Phil Sutin
Slay firm allowed to temporarily move its barge mooring to an area just north of Bellerive Park. Since 78 Slay Warehouse Co. has held only permit to moor barges al ong 1,325 feet of riverbank south of the park.

Slay has asked for a 25-year lease of mooring rights between Mt. Pleasant and Fassen Streets

Post Roy Malone an Louis J. Rose
Slay helped pay college costs for the daughter of St. Louis License Collector Lawrence E. Woodson at a time when Woodson went to unusual lengths to support Slay's bid to operate a foreign trade zone here four years ago, the Post-Dispatch has learned. ...

A bill to extend Slay Bulk Terminals Co. lease on city riverfront property until the year 2005 was approved by the Board of Ald. Streets, Sewers and Wharves Committee.

Under the bill lease rates for Slay during the next 10 years would be less than the uniform riverfront lease rates approved by the Board of Aldermen and signed into law in November by Mayor James F. Conway.

Pearson and Steve LeResche (future A-B PR flack)
The issuance of indictments naming Zych and one of his chief political backers, Eugene P. Slay, is the first public documentation of evidence that Slay had a connection with cable TV franchise bidding, as he had been rumored for months. ....

The cable TV investigation is known to have started when conversations about lining up votes for a franchise were picked up on a wiretap at the Mayfair Hotel offices of the two Webbes, Sorkis Sr. and Sorkis Jr., who was alderman from the 7th W ard until his unexpected resignation Nov. 2.

15th Ward Ald. Geraldine Osborne outspoken critic of the corruption

Slay won the first of four expected aldermanic fights Friday on bills that will expand the already extensive Slay interests on t he riverfront . ... By a vote of 18 to 67, the aldermen approved a bill givng Slay's Bi-State Warehousing Inc. mooring rights at the foot of O'Fallon St.

Shrewsbury attacks the measure on safety issues, citing Coast Guard. ...

Post Phil Sutin
The St. Louis Port Authority is paying for test borings on city-owned riverfront land leased to Slay who wants to build a warehouse there. The borings would determine whether the site, which consists of fill atop an old quarry, could support the warehouse building. The last of 12 test borings was made Friday. The Port Authority will pay about $15,000 for the work, Port Director Kenneth Anderson said. A subcontractor to Booker Associaes Inc. performed the work.

Aldermanic President Thomas E. Zych was to receive one percent of the stock of a company in return for helping the company get the city's cable televsivion franchise, the U.S. attorney's office asserted in a court document Monday.

Zych , who has launched a public attack on the U.S. Attorney's office in recent weeks, was to receive his share of the stock through Slay. ..

Zych would have received one percent of Melhar Corp. stock, the document said, if that company had been successful in gaining the city's cable television franchise in negotiations that went on between July 82 and Feb. 83

Defendant James Cullen, attorney, represented by former U.S. Attorney Barry Short, was the former lawyer for the St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and was secretary of the National Hockey League.

The convictions of three prominent St. Louisans for fraudulently trying to get the city's cable television franchise were overturned by a federal judge, nearly three years after the three were indicted.

Attorneys for Slay said they are looking into legal recourse in response to Mayor Vincent C. Shoemehl Jr.'s canellation of Slay's barge-mooring lease at Bellerive Park in far South St. Louis.

It's our position we have a binding legal contract," said attorney Thomas A. Connelly.

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