Thursday, December 15, 2005

Mob Related Indictment

Friends of ours: Harry Aleman

A member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board voted to parole reputed mob hit man Harry Aleman because Aleman's friends were going to help get the board member's son a job in the music industry in Las Vegas, according to an indictment handed down by a Lee County grand jury Friday. Victor Brooks cast the lone vote to parole Aleman three years ago when the board decided 10-1 to keep Aleman in prison for the murder of Teamster official Willie Logan.

Though prosecutors say Aleman was a mob hit man, the only murder he has ever been charged with is Logan's. He was acquitted the first time after bribing a judge. But he was convicted after being retried for the crime.

Former Illinois Department of Corrections official Ronald Matrisciano was also indicted Friday. He spoke up on Aleman's behalf at the hearing at the Dixon Correctional Center in Downstate Lee County three years ago, calling Aleman a "model prisoner."

Matrisciano was a family friend of Aleman's. Brooks said at the parole hearing that he was impressed that a prison official of Matrisciano's stature would speak on Aleman's behalf. He said at the time that's why he voted for Aleman's parole.

What was unsaid at the time, according to Friday's indictment, is that Matrisciano and Brooks had "an agreement ... under which ... in return for Ronald Matrisciano's assistance in obtaining employment in Las Vegas for Victor Brooks' son, Nicolas Brooks, Victor Brooks would vote to parole Harry Aleman."

Nicolas Brooks reportedly had some success in the music industry, singing the national anthem at Cubs and Bears games. He was living in Las Vegas and the agreement was to help get him a music gig, according to sources familiar with the allegations.

Victor Brooks was a former warden at the state juvenile corrections facility in St. Charles and was highly regarded on the prisoner review board, said chairman Jorge Montes. "Brooks during his tenure on the board was basically a model member," Montes said. "It comes as a shock to the parole board that these allegations would be raised against someone who everybody held in high esteem."

Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office brought the charges before the grand jury. "How Harry Aleman had access to a high-ranking IDOC official and why a member of the PRB would vote for his release are serious questions that have been raised," Lisa Madigan said in a release. "We allege that public corruption is part of the answer."

Brooks was appointed to the prisoner review board by Gov. Jim Edgar and was reappointed by Gov. George Ryan. But Gov. Blagojevich, after Brooks' vote to parole Aleman, chose not to reappoint him when his term was up for renewal.

When Aleman came up for parole again Wednesday, Aleman said he was "mad, very mad" that his friend Matrisciano was fired, ordered re-hired, demoted, then suspended with pay after testifying on Aleman's behalf. "You're saying anybody who speaks on my behalf gets into trouble? ...No one can talk for me or they get into trouble right away?"

Matrisciano faces five counts of official misconduct and two counts of wire fraud. Brooks faces one count of official misconduct and one of wire fraud

Thanks to Abdon Pallasch

No comments:

Post a Comment