Thursday, January 11, 2007

Chicago Crime Commission Subpoenaed by Clown

Friends of ours: Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo, Frank "The German" Schweihs

Reputed Chicago mob boss Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo is looking to an unusual source for possible help in his defense at one of the most important mob trials in Chicago history: the Chicago Crime Commission.

Lombardo's attorney, Rick Halprin, had a subpoena served on the Outfit-fighting organization Tuesday for all the supporting documents the commission used to justify putting Lombardo on a mob hierarchy chart the group created in the 1980s. The chart shows Lombardo as a top Chicago mobster. "I can think of no privilege they have with those files," Halprin said. "If they do, I'm sure we'll hear about it in court."

The commission's general counsel, Jeannette Tamayo, called the subpoena for the documents "fairly unusual" and said officials are determining what documents the commission has that are responsive to the subpoena and what the commission is legally obligated to provide.

It's unclear whether the subpoena will spark a legal showdown in federal court in the Family Secrets case. Prosecutors have charged Lombardo and other reputed Outfit leaders in a wide-ranging racketeering case that aims to solve 18 slayings.

Halprin said the late, well-known, former FBI agent William Roemer worked as a consultant for the crime commission in putting together the chart outlining the hierarchy of the Chicago mob.

Halprin is particularly interested in any documentation relating to the prosecution of Lombardo and several others in a scheme to embezzle more than $1 million from a Teamsters pension fund.

In 2005, authorities charged Lombardo, alleged mob hit man Frank "the German" Schweihs and others with the September 1974 murder of Daniel Seifert, a Bensenville businessman who authorities say was to be the key witness against Lombardo at the embezzlement trial.

The Teamsters embezzlement case is more than 30 years old, and documentation from it is scarce. Halprin is curious to find out if the crime commission has any historic FBI documents from the case or other matters involving Lombardo.

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

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