Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Career Burglar, Sal Romano, Admits to Bribing Cops

A career burglar with ties to the mob testified today in the Family Secrets case that he indirectly bribed police through Chicago attorneys, including Sam Banks, the brother of 36th Ward Ald. William Banks.

Sal Romano, who worked under Anthony Spilotro, said he paid hired Sam Banks on the advice of Chicago police after Romano was arrested and believed they were bribed through money Romano paid his attorney. But Romano acknowledged he never saw Banks hand any money to police.

Romano said his case involving stolen property was thrown out.

Banks could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday.

Romano said another lawyer he hired for another case, Dean Wolfson, was more direct about the bribery. Wolfson was later convicted of bribing judges as part of Operation Greylord. Romano said after he gave Wolfson $10,000, the attorney instructed an assistant that a certain portion of the money was for the judge in the case, while the remainder was for the police.

Romano described working out in Las Vegas with a variety of career criminals, including Spilotro, who was slain in 1986, and Paul "The Indian" Schiro, who is a defendant on trial in the Family Secrets case.

Romano said Schiro set up a burglary of a home owned by people Schiro knew. Schiro said the people were going to be at a wedding and gave Romano the key to their front door. Inside the home was a closet safe supposedly containing $50,000, Romano said.

Romano and another burglar went into the home, but a little dog came out yapping like crazy. The dog made it out to the backyard and continued barking. "Let's go, I'm gone," Romano recalled saying. When he got grief from Schiro for not disposing of the dog, Romano said "I don't do dogs."

Thanks to Steve Warmbir

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