The Hoods on the Bus Go 'Round and 'Round

Corruption at the top of the school-bus union reached middle management as well

It was good to have friends. Another former delegate, Joseph Armetta, told Rinaldo that he got his own union post courtesy of Perrone. "The guy around the corner put me here," Armetta told Rinaldo, referring to the restaurant owner. (Armetta abruptly quit the local after trustee Mullins took over.)

Rinaldo also said he was told by Battaglia and Bernstein that a pair of brothers who were close to Armetta and who retain substantial influence at the local had gotten their jobs with the union thanks to connections with yet another Genovese figure. Paul and Nick Maddalone allegedly had a hook with a Staten Island–based hood named Joey Ida. Battaglia told Rinaldo that he thought the Maddalones were "sneaky" and "viewed them as a threat."

Spike Bernstein also told Rinaldo that at one point Paul Maddalone was being considered as financial secretary for the union. First, however, he had to pass muster with Matty "the Horse" Ianiello, who interviewed the candidate at a table at Don Peppe's. Things didn't work out, however. Rinaldo described the situation this way: "During the meeting, Maddalone repeatedly asked about a position for his brother, Nick. Ianniello stated that no position was available for Nick. When Paul protested, Ianniello stated, 'Your brother is a piece of shit.' " According to Rinaldo, the meeting then ended and Paul Maddalone did not get his promotion.

Kicking the bullies off the bus
Cary Conover
Kicking the bullies off the bus

Both brothers remain as delegates on the local's executive board, earning $114,000 each. When Rinaldo spoke to the feds last year, he predicted that once Battaglia's trial was over, Paul Maddalone would run for president to replace him.

Neither Maddalone returned messages left at the union and with a union spokesperson.

As for Rinaldo and Fouché, both cut immunity agreements with the government in exchange for their cooperation in the investigation, as did former delegate Sal Ingolia.

"She was a victim," said Jerome Karp, Fouché's attorney. Attorneys for Rinaldo and Ingolia both declined comment.

After taking over, trustee Mullins hired outside auditors to go over union operations. He also retained Bruce Maffeo, a former federal prosecutor with experience prosecuting organized crime. Maffeo said that so far one delegate—an apparent reference to Armetta—and several vendors have been removed, and that the trustee was cooperating "fully" with the U.S. Attorney's investigation.

Maffeo said he hadn't seen Rinaldo's allegations but that his probe continues. "If there is a documented assertion of knowing association with organized crime, the trustee would act, as he has in the past, to take immediate and appropriate action," he said.

« Previous Page