Thursday, November 18, 2004

Gagliano Said to Have Mob Ties

Stoolie: Canada pol in mob
BY GREG B. SMITH
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Alfonso Gagliano has held titles in Canada that include labor minister, deputy House leader, ambassador to Denmark and minister of public works.
In New York he held a different kind of title, according to secret FBI documents obtained by the Daily News: "made" member of the Bonanno crime family.
Gagliano was identified as a longtime soldier in the Bonanno crime family by Frank Lino, a former Mafia capo-turned-informer.
Lino is now cooperating with the FBI and federal prosecutors as they slowly take apart the mob family to which he once swore allegiance.
Gagliano's name surfaced as Lino described the Bonanno family's operations in Montreal, which has served as an outpost for the Brooklyn-based group for decades.
He said he and a group of top Bonanno gangsters traveled to Montreal in the 1990s to let the northern branch office know the family had a new boss, Joseph Massino.
The group met at a catering hall, and during the meeting, a Bonanno gangster, Joseph Lopresti, introduced Gagliano to Lino as a made man in the family, FBI documents state.
Lino made a point of telling the FBI that only actual members of the Bonanno family were allowed to attend the meeting at the catering hall. Associates were banned.
Gagliano attorney Pierre Fournier did not return calls seeking comment yesterday.
For years, Gagliano was a fixture in Canada's national politics, rising through the ranks of the Liberal Party.
But his most powerful position was undoubtedly Canada's minister of public works and government services, the office that oversees the Canadian mint and awards most of Canada's government contracts.
In that capacity, Gagliano found himself embroiled in a growing scandal over potential corruption in the awarding of contracts for government advertising.
In February, he was dismissed as ambassador.
There is an ongoing investigation into allegations that government funds were funneled to large contributors to the Liberal Party for no-work contracts.
Lino was shown an array of photographs and identified Gagliano, the FBI documents state.
When he began cooperating with the FBI, Lino admitted he was involved in six murders, several attempted murders, loansharking, extortion and gambling.

Originally published on November 18, 2004

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OTTAWA (CP) - Conservative Leader Stephen Harper raised published allegations Thursday that former Liberal cabinet minister Alfonso Gagliano was a member of a New York organized crime family.
The allegations were made in the New York Daily News. The paper said it based the information on FBI (news - web sites) documents. Gagliano, through his lawyer, flatly denied the accusation.
The former public works minister and ambassador to Denmark is currently embroiled in the sponsorship scandal.