Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mob Enforcer Attends Stephens Funeral

Friends of ours: Sam "Momo" Giancana, Anthony "Jeeps" Daddino
Friends of mine: Don Stephens

The one and only mayor of suburban Rosemont, Don Stephens, was laid to rest Monday. The funeral attracted some of the state's top political figures. In this Intelligence Report: one mourner linked to the Chicago mob and the late mayor's fight to shed an unsavory image.

Since the day 45 years ago that Don Stephens did some business with Chicago's supreme outfit boss, Sam "Momo" Giancana, Stephens had been dogged by scurrilous suggestions that he was mobbed up.

To his death, Stephens denied connections to organized crime. But he never wavered in his personal commitment to one organized crime figure, a former outfit enforcer who Monday paid his respects to the friend who cut him a break.

As the flag-covered coffin of Rosemont's mayor was walked to a waiting hearse Monday, there in the crowd of onlookers was Anthony Daddino, a.k.a. "Jeeps." He was the only outfit-connected face recognized by mob-watchers.

In 1990, Daddino was sentenced to federal prison for collecting a mob street tax from porn shop operators on Chicago's North Side. At the time, Rosemont Mayor Don Stephens wrote to the judge asking for leniency for the outfit enforcer. "My connection with him -- I went to Leyden High School with him," said Stephens.

In Mayor Stephens' last interview the I-Team did with him in December, he remembered helping Daddino, despite knowing that people would be suspicious. When Daddino got out of prison, Mayor Stephens knew he would need a job. "I said, 'OK, I'll give you a job,' " Stephens told the I-Team. " 'A very low-level job,' where he inspected for building violations."

Monday at Stephens' funeral, Daddino remembered him. "That's what good friends do," Daddino said.

Despite decades of being dogged by innuendo, Stephens was never charged with any mob crimes, and in the early 1980s he was acquitted in the fraud and bribery cases that federal prosecutors did bring against him.

Governor Blagojevich Monday was joined by former Illinois governors Jim Edgar, Jim Thompson, Mayor Daley and House Speaker Mike Madigan. Absent was state attorney general Lisa Madigan who killed a casino license for Rosemont citing mob connections.

Thanks to Chuck Goudie

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