A dockworkers' union local must tell the Waterfront Commission why it is paying an organized crime figure's wife for a "no-show" job, a court has ruled.
New York Supreme Court Justice David B. Saxe upheld a subpoena from the
commission to compel testimony from Mario Lubrano, secretary-treasurer of International Longshoremen's Association Local 1814.The commission wants to learn if a $600 weekly payment to Mrs. Anthony Scotto of Brooklyn is in fact "to pay off Mr. Scotto," identified in 1980 as a "capo" in the Gambino crime family.
Before his conviction on racketeering charges in 1980, Mr. Scotto was president of Local 1814 and a general organizer for the national office of the ILA.
As a convicted felon, Mr. Scotto has been banned from waterfront union activities in the New York-New Jersey port area.
The commission said that investigation of state and federal election records showed that the paychecks started going to Mrs. Scotto in 1981, three months after her husband went to prison.
The commission has been trying to talk to Mr. Lubrano since it got a tip last April about the payments to Mrs. Scotto from the local's political action committee.
The commission told the court that Mr. Lubrano, a New Jersey resident, ignored a subpoena to appear early last month.
The union sought to quash the subpoena Wednesday, but Judge Saxe ordered that Mr. Lubrano be held in contempt unless he appears to testify within 20 days.
David Greenfield, commission assistant counsel, told Judge Saxe that "we want to learn what Mrs. Scotto does for a $30,000 salary. How was she employed?"
The attorney said that the election records showed that Mrs. Scotto was the only employee on the PAC payroll.
A. Thomas Scotto, union attorney, has asked the judge to dismiss the subpoena as too broad.
The judge brushed the argument aside, saying that it was within the
commission's "mandate" to free the waterfront of criminal activity. In its watchdog role, he said, the commission can determine if the union "is funneling money to Mr. Scotto through his wife."