The Chicago Syndicate: Boss: Ex-agent no thug - Former FBI chief backs DeVecchio

Monday, April 17, 2006

Boss: Ex-agent no thug - Former FBI chief backs DeVecchio

Friends of ours: Gregory Scarpa Sr., Colombo Crime Family

The former head of the FBI in New York insists that ex-G-man Lindley DeVecchio is innocent of charges that he helped fuel a top mob capo's murderous reign. Speaking out for the first time on the controversial case, James Kallstrom defended DeVecchio's handling of killer mobster Gregory Scarpa Sr. - and called the former agent a "hard worker" who risked his life going undercover to help smash the Mafia.

"Lin DeVecchio is not guilty and did not partake in what he's being charged with. It's as simple as that," Kallstrom, who now serves as senior counterterrorism adviser to Gov. Pataki, told the Daily News. "His work went a long way toward the success of the FBI task force breaking up La Cosa Nostra as we knew it."

Kallstrom, who was the face of the FBI through major cases such as the TWA Flight 800 probe and the first World Trade Center attack, has known the embattled agent more than 30 years.

He dismissed the corruption charges brought by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes as a hodgepodge of old accusations that had been thoroughly investigated by the Justice Department and the FBI.

The probes failed to uncover enough evidence to charge DeVecchio with a crime or even to discipline him. "There was no finding that any of those charges were valid," Kallstrom said. "From my knowledge, the two investigations were voluminous and took literally years to complete."

He added, "I don't proclaim to know everything that the district attorney might know, but from what I do know, I don't believe he's guilty of those charges because they've been thoroughly investigated before."

Prosecutors have painted an entirely different picture, accusing DeVecchio of taking payoffs from Scarpa and supplying him with inside information that led to four underworld slayings. That arrangement, prosecutors say, helped DeVecchio enhance his stature within the FBI while giving the Colombo chieftain license to kill with impunity.

Kallstrom acknowledged handling informers is "a tricky business." But he categorically denied there were payoffs. "Of course not," he said, bristling.

He added that the bureau had no knowledge that Scarpa, allegedly with DeVecchio's tacit blessings, was orchestrating a series of killings that left the streets of Brooklyn awash in blood.

"The notion that the FBI knew [Scarpa] was out killing people is preposterous," said Kallstrom, adding there were many "checks and balances" to ensure DeVecchio and Scarpa's "close working relationship" remained above board.

Hynes' office says it has the evidence to prove otherwise. "We are prepared to go to trial," said a Hynes spokesman.

Kallstrom is backing the Friends of Lin DeVecchio Trust Web site to raise funds for DeVecchio's legal defense, joining scores of active and retired FBI agents including Joe Pistone, who went undercover in the Mafia as Donnie Brasco.

"We put a Web site up to try to help with his legal expenses, and I lent my name to that because I believe he's innocent," Kallstrom said.

Thanks to Angela Mosconi

No comments:

Post a Comment

When You Get Serious About Tailgating


Crime Family Index