Yankees Using Firm With Alleged Mob Ties To Help Build New Stadium
POSTED: 10:51 pm EDT April 4, 2007
UPDATED: 2:05 am EDT April 5, 2007
NEW YORK -- A construction firm accused of having mob ties is helping build the new Yankee Stadium, officials said.
And its owners are under indictment in the Bronx in connection with former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik's legal issues.
Interstate Industrial's owners Frank and Peter DiTommaso -- accused of having ties to the mafia -- were indicted in July on perjury charges.
The brothers are accused of lying to a Bronx grand jury about $165,000 in free construction work given to Bernard Kerik, Rudy Giuliani's former correction and police commissioner.
In an interview Wednesday, the company's owners insisted they will be cleared of criminal wrongdoing, and that their company, Interstate Industrial, is not linked to the Gambino Crime Family.
But investigators said they had banned Interstate from public contracts in New York City and Atlantic City.
The question at hand: Why is the New York Yankees organization using Interstate to help build the team's new $1.2 billion stadium?
From their offices in Clifton, the DiTommaso brothers noted while inspecting the new Yankee Stadium blueprints that they are innocent and that their firm was chosen because it is best for the job.
After an NewsChannel4 inquiry to city hall and to investigators, officials seemed surprised and we are told city officials began voicing strong objections directly to the Yankees about their choice of contractors.
A spokesman for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pointed out that Interstate Industrial cannot do business with the city.
"Although because of their history, Interstate would not qualify for a city contract due to procurement regulations, there is nothing to prevent a private company from using them as a subcontractor," said a spokesman for Bloomberg.
The Yankees, a private organization, declined to comment, referring our inquiries instead to Turner Construction, the lead construction firm that hired Interstate to do the excavation and foundation work.
Turner said the DiTommasos submitted a qualified bid and have done good work on many other projects in the tri-state area, including the Goldman Sachs building in New Jersey and terminals at Kennedy Airport among others.
The DiTommasos said they and their firm have been unfairly smeared.
While charged with perjury the DiTomassos have never been criminally charged in connection with the mafia.
But investigators point to the co-operation of five mafia turncoats including Dominick "Big Dom" Borghese, Anthony Capo, Frank "Frankie Frap" Frappiano, Anthony Rotundo and Michael "Mickey Scars" DiLeonardo - all who make allegations against the DiTommasos.
In sworn testimony during the trial of Peter Gotti, DiLeonardo said the DiTommasos agreed to pay $100,000 to the Gambino crime family.
New Jersey's attorney general said that for years now he has tried to ban Interstate from doing work with Atlantic City casinos but in 2004, after a lengthy hearing, the casino commission ruled in the DiTomassos favor, saying the brothers "have demonstrated their good character, honesty and integrity."
But after their perjury indictment and the testimony from the Gotti trial, Interstate has been temporarily prohibited from doing casino work.
Peter Harvey is New Jersey's former state attorney general who tried to ban the group from doing work in Atlantic City.
While taxpayers have given $250 million to the overall $1.2 billion stadium project, Turner Construction said Interstate is being paid only with the Yankees' private money.
But Harvey notes that there are other capable construction companies who could have taken on the job.
The DiTommasos said they will continue their work on the stadium and other projects as they try to clear their name.