By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Last year, in the midst of the court battle with the union, Weider turned to the mob, according to the indictment. In April, he sought out Aparo, who in turn allegedly contacted Gambino capo Louis Vallario and Bonanno family soldier John "Johnny Green" Faraci. On May 10, a delegation of gangsters sat down with Kukic in a Manhattan Wendy's restaurant to discuss the problem. In June, Aparo's brother, Vincent, also a Genovese soldier, and an ex-NYPD detective named Michael Norrito were said to have held two meetings with Weider in Weider's Brooklyn office.
Just what Kukic agreed to do for Weider is left unclear by the indictment. Whatever his involvement, Vanderveer was far from his regular area of responsibility for the union, which is lower Manhattan. The Brooklyn district in which Vanderveer is located is overseen by another official named Frank Scavone, who, like Kukic, was selected under the Bevona regime.
Kukic was immediately suspended from his position without pay after his arrest. But the union refuses to discuss the case, saying that to do so would interfere with the U.S. attorney's investigation. Local 32 B-J has decided not to conduct its own investigation, a spokesman said.
"We are going to leave it up to the U.S. attorney's office. We will cooperate with them in any way we can," said Bill Meyerson. Kukic has pleaded not guilty. "It is very early, and I am waiting to see what the government claims he did," said his attorney, Michael Marinaccio.
Weider and his attorney both failed to return messages, but Weider's arrest was characterized as "not a big thing" by a management aide.
"I am sure it will go away quickly. It's a mistake," said Nathan Berger, who runs Vanderveer for Weider.