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

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Maryann Santiago withdraws lawsuit against reputed mobster and Brooklyn bagel shop owner Vincent Badalamenti


The disabled woman who filed a discrimination suit against a Bensonhurst bagel shop owned by a reputed gangster had an apologetic message Monday for the Bonanno big’s lawyer: Fuggedaboudit.
Maryann Santiago withdrew the Brooklyn Federal Court suit against Bagels Plus the same day The News reported on page 1 she was suing “Boss of All Bagels” Vincent Badalamenti.
She is not backing down from two other suits against nearby Dragon Garden restaurant and Angelina’s pizzeria that cite alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act
An amputee who uses a wheelchair, she was seeking only $500 in damages, but her lawyer Bradley Weitz could be entitled to much more lucrative legal fees
if he prevails in the other suits.
“This appears to be some form of a scam,” said Badalamenti’s lawyer, Ronald Fischetti.
He said Weitz contacted his office twice to confirm Badalamenti was aware the suit was being dropped.
“He said it was going away as if it never happened” and that “she (Santiago) doesn’t want to make any ruckus,” Fischetti said.
Weitz did not return calls for comment.
He and Santiago also filed six suits against local merchants in 2010 alleging the disabled were being denied access. Weitz is asking the judge for $19,827 in legal fees in a suit against a nail salon, according to court papers. The other cases appear to have been settled.
Santiago appeared surprised when told Sunday by The News that the feds allege Badalamenti is a high-ranking mob boss.
She claimed in her complaint the bagel shop’s counters, cash register, shelves and display cases were too high and not in compliance with federal law. The bagel shop also has a step at the front entrance which cannot be mounted by a wheelchair.
Badalamenti, nicknamed “Vinny TV” for an appliance store he once owned, was indicted last month on racketeering and extortion charges, and is being held without bail.
Joe, the manager at Bagels Plus, said there have never been any complaints from disabled persons about access to the store, and Fischetti said he believes the shop may be exempt from the ADA.
Asked if he had any idea why the suit was dropped and not the two others, he said, “People can assume whatever they want. This is America.”
 


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