The Chicago Syndicate: Kuby an Out for Junior?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Kuby an Out for Junior?

Friends of ours: John "Junior" Gotti, John "Dapper Don" Gotti, Sammy "The Bull"Gravano, Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo

On-air rivals Curtis Sliwa & Ron Kuby will be on different sides in court, too. Now it's Curtis versus Kuby. Pony-tailed civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby has been called to testify for the defense in the trial of John A. (Junior) Gotti - the mob scion accused of ordering two thugs to attack Curtis Sliwa, Kuby's radio show partner.

"Usually I try to stay as far away from the witness stand as I can, unless I'm handing a witness a sheaf of papers," Kuby said yesterday. Kuby said his testimony likely will not involve snitching on his longtime partner but will focus on his past representation of mobsters. He joked that he doubted Gotti attorney Charles Carnesi would ask, "Well, Ron, is it true you wanted to kill him, too?"

For a decade, Kuby has played the liberal foil to Sliwa's conservative lock-up-the-bad-guys views on their WABC-AM talk show, "Curtis and Kuby in the Morning." In recent weeks, Kuby has counseled Sliwa to come across as more likable to jurors at Gotti's retrial so they won't leave the courtroom thinking "it's not a bad thing that you got shot." The result was a less-confrontational Sliwa in court.

The Guardian Angels founder told jurors this week how he leaped out the passenger side window of a cab as he was being fired on by a masked gunman who had popped out next to the driver from under the dashboard. Prosecutors say Gotti, 42, ordered the 1992 ambush to silence Sliwa's unrelenting rants against the Gotti family following the late Dapper Don John Gotti's federal murder conviction.

Kuby has represented Junior Gotti's former brother-in-law, Carmine Agnello, the ex-husband of Victoria Gotti, as well as other alleged low-level mobsters. His late mentor, William Kunstler, once represented the Dapper Don. Kuby was named as the target of a mob hit plan hatched by Salvatore (Sammy Bull) Gravano, according to the 2000 testimony of a Gravano associate arrested on drug charges in Arizona.

Gravano was upset with Kuby for representing the families of some of Gravano's 19 murder victims in a civil lawsuit. He planned to lure the lawyer to Texas where he would be gunned down, according to the testimony. After Kuby learned last weekend he might be called as a witness for Gotti, he said he purposely stayed away from the trial.

Prosecutors wrapped up Thursday. Much of their case rests on the testimony of mob snitch Michael (Mikey Scars) DiLeonardo, who has linked Gotti to the Sliwa kidnapping as well as to more than $1 million in construction extortion payoffs.

Gotti's first trial ended in a hung jury.

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