DeBartolo Family Legacy Includes Allegations of Mob Ties, Dirty Deals

DeBartolo Family Legacy Includes Allegations of Mob Ties, Dirty Deals

Image for postPresident Trump pardoned Edward DeBartolo Jr. on Feb. 18. The former San Francisco 49ers owner pled guilty in 1998 to failing to report a felony when he paid $400,000 to former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards in exchange for a riverboat gambling license. (AP)Local Political Analyst Chris Ingram emphatically states: Chad Chronister is NOT a Republican!

PRIMARIED? Former detective who sued Sheriff’s Office files to run in GOP Primary against Sheriff Chad Chronister

A Republican candidate, Brian Boswell, has filed to run in a primary against Sheriff Chad Chronister, complaining of?

Drug Suspect Released from Jail in COVID19 purge by DeBartolo Son-in-Law Sheriff Chad Chronister Becomes Murder Suspect 1 Day Later!

On March 19, a drug suspect with a lengthy rap sheet was released as part of Hillsborough County’s efforts to thin out?

Hillsborough County (FL) Sheriff Chad Chronister ? who had arrested a pastor for church services WITH social distancing ? did COVID19 jail purge, including someone accused of MURDER one day after release.

Imagine a sheriff coming home to his family one night knowing that in a day’s work, he arrested a pastor for holding?

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The Gangster ReportThe San Francisco 49ers & The Mob: Super Bowl Team’s Ownership Group Has Alleged?

January 24, 2020 – The DeBartolo name is synonymous with the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL, real estate wealth and in?

To help celebrate the defiant but generous spirit of President Trump?s pardon on Feb. 18 for Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr., here?s a tribute to the family?s checkered ?legacy? ? including his father, the late Edward J. DeBartolo Sr.

We?ll take a circuitous, cross-country ride from Tampa to Las Vegas and from Cleveland to Pittsburgh with some Youngstown, Ohio, sprinkled in for good measure.

Our ultimate goal is to try and answer whether the apple really does fall far from the tree.

No one can say with any certainty ? though one thing is for sure.

Eddie Jr. is BACK and ready to reclaim his rightful place in respectable society, his record now fully and officially bleach bitted by the President of the United States.

Trump?s decision to pardon comes 22 years after DeBartolo Jr. avoided prison by testifying against then-Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards after the San Franciso 49ers owner failed to report he paid $400,000 to Edwards in exchange for a riverboat gambling license. Eddie Jr. was fined $1 million and served probation for two years.

After his guilty plea to the felony, the NFL suspended DeBartolo Jr. for a year. Denise DeBartolo York ? Eddie Jr.?s sister ? received controlling interest of the team in exchange for other family real estate assets after DeBartolo Jr. had completed his NFL suspension. DeBartolo?s nephew, Jed York, now runs the team, according to a story in the Tampa Bay Times.

All of this came just a few years after the 1994 passing of the 85-year-old family patriarch in Youngstown, his hometown.

In 1977, the elder DeBartolo paid $17.6 million for 90 percent of San Francisco?s stock. He made it a subsidiary of his Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. in Youngstown and named his then 30-year-old son Eddie Jr. as president. The 49ers controlling interest was later turned over to the younger DeBartolo. The father said his son purchased the team from him, although the senior DeBartolo personally secured his son?s purchase.

?Eddie Jr. bought it from me,? DeBartolo Sr. later told The Pittsburgh Press. ?Everyone thinks I gave it to him, but Eddie financed it and paid for it.?

So, with Eddie Jr. now fully rehabilitated, what?s next?

Another NFL team? Good luck with that.

Perhaps he may now feel free to spend his father?s shopping-mall billions to enable any political ambitions that Eddie Jr.?s son-in-law, Hillsborough County (FL) Sheriff Chad Chronister, may eventually have for higher office. (Congress? Maybe even the Senate?).

It all could be deja vu for the DeBartolo family and their relationship with another once-stellar political prospect back in the family hometown of Youngstown.

Image for postThe late Rep. James Traficant Jr., D-Youngstown, Ohio

Does anyone remember the late Rep. James Traficant Jr., a convicted Youngstown felon and expelled Congressman? Of course, the Traficant surname is not to be confused with the late Santos Trafficante Jr., an infamous Florida mob boss and one of Edward J. DeBartolo Sr.?s pals.

Rep. Traficant ? an odd but colorful Democrat who was re-elected an astonishing eight times ? was known more for his bad hairpiece and Beam Me Up pronouncements from the House Floor than any significant legislative accomplishments.

Before he was in Congress, Traficant was Mahoning County Sheriff in 1983 when he faced his first federal bribery and corruption trial. He initially was represented by Carmen Policy, who later became president of the San Francisco 49ers while DeBartolo Jr. owned the NFL team. Traficant and Policy ended their relationship before the trial and Traficant successfully defend himself against federal charges of taking bribes to protect mobsters? criminal activity. Though he was not a lawyer, Traficant won over the local jury by arguing that he was conducting a one-person sting.

On Feb. 18, Sheriff Chronister was on the White House lawn for the ceremony to pardon DeBartolo Jr., according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Image for postHillsborough County (Tampa) Sheriff Chad Chronister and his wife, Nicole. She is the daughter of Edward Debartolo Jr. PHOTO CREDIT: Hillsborough County Sheriff Department?s Facebook Page

Chronister was there with his wife, Nicole, who is DeBartolo Jr.?s daughter. She?s called ?Nikki? on the Facebook page of the Hillsborough County Sheriff?s Department.

Chronister, by the way, gives new meaning to the derisive political acronym RINO (Republican in Name Only). The good and honorable sheriff deceived his predecessor about his true political affiliations and, after his election in 2018, donated $5,000 to the Hillsborough County Democrat Party last year.

Chronister told a Tampa Bay Times columnist last October that he is ?the most Democratic of Republicans,? a ?hybrid of both parties,? fiscally conservative, socially Democrat.

Actually, he was a Democrat until people convinced him you should have the same party affiliation as the sheriff for whom you work. He doesn?t think of the office as partisan anyway.

– Times columnist Sue Carlton in her Oct. 19, 2019 column about Chronister.

So much for all the local Republican volunteers who worked hard to elect him as sheriff AND donated money to his campaign.

This time around, Chronister fundraising is approaching $1 million and, so far, he faces little opposition for re-election to a four-year term this coming November. Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, appointed Chronister as sheriff in 2017 when Republican David Gee retired. Chronister ran for sheriff as a Republican and won a special election in 2018 to finish out Gee?s term.

DeBartolo Sr.?s Many Acquaintances & Coincidences

At, J. R. de Szigethy examines the history of organized crime in Pennsylvania (scroll down to Roman Numeral III) and the mob war from the 1960s to the 1980s between Mafia families in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

Szigethy and other journalists and historians over the decades have explored the underworld acquaintances of Edward J. DeBartolo Sr.

One 1970s excerpt from Szigethy noted that Irish mobster Danny Greene was murdered by a car bomb set off remotely by Ronald ?Crab? Carabbia, a gambling pal of DeBartolo Sr. The two made frequent trips together to the Tropicana casino in Las Vegas.

Ronald Carabbia was convicted of Greene?s murder. Carabbia?s lawyer was Carmen Policy, the aforementioned 49ers executive under DeBartolo Jr.

DeBartolo, Organized Crime, and Official Corruption

From Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football by Dan Moldea. The following information has?

Image for postSantos Trafficante Jr.

In Dan Moldea?s Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football, he notes close corporate connections between DeBartolo Sr. and a company heavily influenced by Florida Mafia boss Santos Trafficante.

Los Angeles mobster Jimmy Fratianno told an associate of Moldea that DeBartolo, Sr. was ?very friendly? with Carabbia. He also said that the two men ?used to go on junkets to the Tropicana [in Las Vegas]. And [DeBartolo] was a pretty heavy gambler. He would lose a lot of money. He had a pretty good line of credit in Vegas.?

Here are some excerpts from Moldea:

DeBartolo?s Florida Bank, p. 479

According to a confidential report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. ?WFC Corporation is a cover for the largest narcotics operation in the world.? Law-enforcement agency documents also stated that WFC had been heavily influenced by Florida Mafia boss Santos Trafficante.

A report of the FDLE states that the Florida comptroller?s office was investigating ?what appears to be spurious loans made by WFC Corporation from its Grand Cayman Island subsidiary, through Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company of Tampa, a banking institution whose majority stockholder is Edward DeBartolo Sr.?

DeBartolo Sr., who bought Metropolitan in 1975, owned 227,000 shares of stock in the bank. His position was so strong at the Metropolitan Bank that he, unilaterally, forced the bank?s president to resign in 1981. Other board members had no say in the matter. Metropolitan collapsed in 1982 in what was then the largest bank failure in Florida history.

Chapter 33, pp. 287?291 (The DeBartolo Chapter)

The announced buyer of Major Realty?s land in 1968 was DeBartolo, Sr., a major builder of shopping malls around the United States, who was alleged by a variety of law-enforcement agencies to have business ties with top organized-crime figures, including Meyer Lansky, Carlos Marcello, and Santos Trafficante.

In 1970, DeBartolo Sr.?s name had appeared on the U.S. Justice Department?s Organized Crime Principal Subjects List, a catalog of people who are suspected of having links to organized crime ? a list that the Department of Justice later said became outdated and stopped using in 1975.

DeBartolo Sr. was born in the Smoky Hollow section of Youngstown in 1909. He received his degree in civil engineering from Notre Dame and made his fortune in the construction business, primarily as a builder of shopping centers. DeBartolo Sr. died in 1994 in Youngstown. He was 85.

Between 1952 and 1954, DeBartolo Sr. and members of his company were subjected to six bombings of their offices and shopping centers. No one was killed and the bombing spree was never solved.

In 1960, he purchased the Thistledown racetrack near Cleveland, and the following year he bought the nearby Randall Park racetrack. The concessions for these tracks were handled by the Emprise Corporation, a Buffalo-based sports-services conglomerate, which was indicted and convicted in 1972 for racketeering and fronting for several organized-crime figures. In 1973, Debartolo Sr. bought another racetrack, Balmoral, just south of Chicago.

Also during the 1960s, DeBartolo Sr. had engaged in a joint development in Florida with Lou Chesler and his General Development Corporation. According to their contract, Chesler and General Development were responsible for building houses in Port Malabar, Port Charlotte, Port St. Lucie, and other locations on both Florida coasts, while DeBartolo Sr. handled all commercial construction, such as shopping centers.

By 1965, DeBartolo Sr. had begun building shopping malls, beginning with the Summit Mall in Fairlawn, Ohio, near Akron.

A 1978 classified report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement described him as ?a very wealthy, powerful, influential person with organized-crime connections in Ohio. Subject deals in land purchases, construction and development of large shopping centers through the United States.?

DeBartolo Sr. also was an admitted gambler and had a $100,000 line of credit at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Also the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League and the Pittsburgh Civic Arena, DeBartolo Sr. had made several unsuccessful attempts to purchase major-league baseball teams during the late 1970s. Among those teams he tried to purchase were the Chicago White Sox (twice), Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, and Seattle Mariners; he also tried to bring a major-league baseball team to New Orleans.

In the end, DeBartolo Sr. either withdrew his bid when it became clear that he would be facing stiff opposition, or he was flat out rejected because of his ties to racetracks and gamblers.

?My father has too much class for baseball,? Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr. told The New York Times.

In March 1977, the elder DeBartolo purchased 90 percent of the stock of the San Francisco 49ers for $17.6 million and made it a subsidiary of his corporation.

The team was then given to his thirty-year-old son.

?Eddie Jr. bought it from me,? DeBartolo Sr. told The Pittsburgh Press. ?Everyone thinks I gave it to him, but Eddie financed it and paid for it.?

However, the senior DeBartolo personally secured his son?s purchase.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Hugh Culverhouse was retained as the DeBartolos? tax attorney for the 49ers? sale. At that time, NFL Security reportedly could find nothing in the DeBartolos? background to prevent them from buying the team.

However, when I asked NFL Security chief Jack Danahy about that report, as well as the nature of the senior DeBartolo?s background, Danahy replied, ?I?m not going to discuss that one.? It was the only time during my interviews with Danahy that he refused to answer a question.

– Dan Moldea, who wrote Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football.

Soon after the DeBartolos bought the 49ers, an FBI wiretap picked up Los Angeles mobster Jimmy Fratianno discussing a meeting with New Mexico criminal lawyer William Marchiondo to be held in San Francisco.

According to a transcript of the conversation:

?Fratianno: Hey don?t forget now: when the Miami Dolphins play, you?re going to come over here. See, I got it arranged so you?re going to sit with this guy, the owner of the 49ers.

?Marchiondo: Well, I want to talk with this guy, but that?s a bad time for me to leave??

Fratianno explained the conversation to Moldea?s associate, William Scott Malone,

?I arranged through this friend of mine [Youngstown Mafia figure Ronald Carabbia] for an attorney in New Mexico to sit with DeBartolo in the press box. They wanted to talk some kind of business. I don?t know what it was. So I arranged a meeting.?

– Fratianno explained the conversation to Moldea associate, William Scott Malone.

Image for postMike Kersmarki

Mike Kersmarki, a former business journalist who now lives in Tampa, FL, is currently researching a domestic policy book: ?DISRUPTION! How Republicans Can Help ALL Americans Achieve Their Full Economic Potential and Become a True Worker?s Party.?

He served on the communications teams for the 2012 Republican National Convention and the 2008 John McCain Presidential Campaign.


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