Waterfront job referral spurs mob ties probe
Investigators are probing whether a top Waterfront Commission official recommended the manager of a mobbed-up Staten Island strip club for a job as a harbor cop, the Daily News has learned.
The state inspector general’s office has been looking into a slew of allegations of misconduct at the legendary law enforcement agency, including the unusual job referral by New Jersey Commissioner Michael Madonna, according to a knowledgeable source and court records.
Madonna, a former New Jersey cop, sent the manager of Curves strip club for a job interview at the commission in April 2007, a source said.
The applicant, whose name is being withheld by The News, wanted a job as a cop with the commission. It was created in 1953 to combat the Mafia’s influence on the waterfront – dramatized in the movie “On the Waterfront.”
But investigators at the agency became alarmed when the applicant was asked to name his supervisors at the strip club – and he identified two reputed members of organized crime.
The applicant wasn’t hired.
Madonna has no recollection of the referral, said his lawyer Angelo Genova.
“Generally speaking, to the extent he receives employment inquiries from anyone, it is always his practice to refer inquiries to agency officials for background checks and vetting,” Genova said.
The inspector general’s probe was authorized by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer in October 2007 to “investigate allegations of misconduct, conflicts of interest, abuse and waste,” according to court papers.
Besides the inspector general’s probe, commission officials have been accused in complaints to the state Human Rights Commission of discriminating against employees. A discrimination lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court was recently settled for $450,000.
Lawyers for the plaintiff and the commission declined to comment on the settlement.
BY John Marzulli