Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Police union hires mob-busting lawyer immortalized in classic film 'Goodfellas'

The classic 'Goodfellas' stars Ray Liotta, Robert  De Niro and Joe Pesci.
The classic 'Goodfellas' stars Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.

A mob-busting lawyer immortalized in the film "Goodfellas" has been hired to defend the city's top police union in a massive ticket-fixing scandal, sources said.
Edward McDonald, who famously nabbed wiseguy Henry Hill while heading up the federal organized crime strike force in Brooklyn, has been retained by the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, sources said.
The union also hired hot-shot lawyers Thomas Fitzgerald, a former top prosecutor in the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office, as well as Steven Kartagener, who once led the Bronx district attorney's office appeals bureau, sources said. The legal dream team was assembled to defend against a possible enterprise corruption indictment in the ticket-fixing scandal, sources said.
The hirings were first reported by the website DNAinfo.com.
The Bronx district attorney's office is considering using the Organized Crime Control Act - the state's version of the federal anti-racketeering RICO statute - to prosecute the PBA, sources said.
The most damning evidence in the case are wiretapped phone calls, which caught union delegates, officials and officers routinely nixing summonses for family and friends, sources said.
McDonald is considered an expert on wiretaps and the RICO statute, having used them against members of the Colombo, Gambino, Bonanno and Luchese crime families. He also brought down several corrupt congressman and prosecuted the famous Boston College point-shaving case.
McDonald, who once placed Henry Hill in the witness protection program, is probably best known for playing himself in Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas."
Near the end of the flick, he tells Hill's wife he heard her talking on wiretaps - and that witness protection is the couple's only option.
"We're basically your only salvation," McDonald says. "We're gonna save your life. We're gonna save his life. And we're gonna keep you out of jail."


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