Back to School for Bus Hoods

In a different kind of back to school special, a pair of brothers who served as top officials of the union representing city school bus drivers pleaded guilty today to extortion charges in Manhattan federal court.

Nick and Paul Maddalone became, respectively, the fourth and fifth high-ranking executives of Local 1181 of the American Transit Workers Union to admit their roles in a long-running scheme to extort payoffs from bus operators in exchange for not enforcing union contract rules.

The brothers had been influential union delegates and trustees of the local which was long under the thumb of the Genovese crime family. Until the Voice wrote about his role last year, Paul Maddalone was considered a favorite to succeed Salvatore "Hot Dogs" Battaglia - now serving a 57-month sentence - as president of the 15,000-member local.

Nick Maddalone, 54, hails from Staten Island; brother Paul, 60, is from Neponsit. Both men pled guilty to a single count of extortion conspiracy and face up to 20 years in prison when sentenced on December 14.

The case is the latest in an ongoing-probe by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office and agents of the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor and the NYPD.

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