Jeanine Pirro has received at least $2,000 in campaign contributions from a company with long-reported ties to organized crime, according to Westchester campaign finance records.
Pirro’s campaign for district attorney accepted $500 from the company, Worth Construction of Bethel, Connecticut., as recently as June 20, 2005. (Worth is one of several suspect donors catalogued in this Daily News report today.)
The company was barred from bidding on school construction contracts in New York City after its president, Joseph Pontoriero, refused to answer any questions from authorities about his alleged mob ties, according to published reports. The firm has denied any such links.
The Times reported in 2000:
“Mr. Pontoriero was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the so-called commission case, a key prosecution in 1986 that helped break the mob’s stranglehold on the concrete industry. That trial, a 10-week glimpse at gangland lore, established the existence of a Mafia politburo, known as the commission, and resulted in the conviction of the city’s top crime leaders.
“He was a regular visitor to the Palma Boys Social Club in East Harlem in the 1980’s, where, according to the F.B.I., he often met and talked with Anthony [“Fat Tony”] Salerno, then the crime family’s boss.”
Worth executives also contributed $9,000 to Al D’Amato’s reelection campaign in 1997, and their contributions in 1999 to Al Gore generated something of a scandal after they were disclosed.
Westchester’s electronic records, which go back only as far as 2001, list a $1,000 contribution to Pirro that year, followed by $500 in 2004 and another $500 this year.
Pirro spokesman Mike McKeon told the News and the (ever-gracious with the credit) Times: “Jeanine Pirro has prosecuted more than 100 made members and associates of the mob and has been a leader in the fight against organized crime. Any suggestion to the contrary is just ridiculous.”