Friday, September 09, 2005

Former Chicago Cop was Mob Muscle?

The former owner of the Bridgeview Sports Dome, 8900 S. 77th Ave., has alleged in a lawsuit that he was intimidated to sell his share of his business to the Village of Bridgeview. In a suit that was filed with the U.S. District Court, John Laflamboy alleges that Bridgeview Mayor Steven Landek and other individuals used political pressure and intimidation to get him to sell the Sports Dome. Laflamboy is reportedly seeking $6 million in damages.

Laflamboy owned the Sports Dome, but his share was allegedly given to Landek’s consultant’s fiancĂ©, who then sold it to Bridgeview for about $242,000. The other half of the Sports Dome was reportedly sold to Bridgeview by Laflamboy’s former partner, Alan Gustafson.

Laflamboy made the allegations a few months before news broke in November 2004 that the Chicago Fire soccer team would make Bridgeview its permanent home.

Former Chicago police officer Fred Pascente is alleged in the lawsuit of persuading Laflamboy at gunpoint to sell the Sports Dome to Bridgeview. It was alleged in 2004 and in the suit that Pascente has ties to the mob. He is currently banned by the Nevada Gaming Commission from going to any casinos in that state because of alleged mob connections. (Pascente is a former Chicago police detective who was convicted of mail fraud in 1995 and served an eighteen month prison sentence. He has been identified by the Chicago Crime Commission as an associate of the Chicago organized crime family. His placement in the Nevada "Black Book" occurred in 1999. According to court records, Pascente was convicted of falsely receiving a $20,000 payout from Allstate Insurance Co. with an associate, Anthony Ziga, who filed a false injury claim, as the result of a staged accident. Investigators also alleged that Pascente and another associate, David Ballog, falsely submitted a $44,500 insurance claim for jewelry that they said had been lost at O'Hare International Airport. They later received a $37,000 check for the claim. Pascente denies any connection to the Mafia.)

The Chicago Fire has not been named in the suit. The Sports Dome will be used for the team to practice while a new stadium is built for the games. A new stadium is currently being built for the team over 100 acres of land at 71st Street and Harlem Avenue. It is estimated the building will be completed by the fall of 2006, and will have about 20,000 seats.

Laflamboy told media venues that he was given a small amount for the sale despite the dome being worth in the millions. Landek and village attorney Vincent Cainkar were unavailable for comment. (Vince Cainkar is the local attorney for several villages and cities across the the Southwest suburbs.)

Thanks to Yvette Presberry - SW News Herald

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