The Chicago Syndicate: Waste Hauler with Alleged Mob Ties Doing State Work

Montana West World

Montana West World

Monday, March 19, 2007

Waste Hauler with Alleged Mob Ties Doing State Work

Friends of mine: Peter DiFronzo, John "No Nose" DiFronzo

A waste-hauling firm that's repeatedly been accused of having ties to the mob is still doing taxpayer-funded work and has surfaced on a government-produced list of environmentally friendly businesses.

In recent days, a Dumpster from D&P Construction was on site at a Metra station construction project in Edison Park. D&P also saw a longtime snowplowing contract it has with the University of Illinois at Chicago renewed last year.

Besides that, D&P and a sister company, JKS Ventures, are listed in a state government "Green Your Space Database," which helps people find "environmentally friendly building products you may use to improve your home or office."

D&P was widely publicized as having alleged mob links in 2001, when the Illinois Gaming Board took issue with it hauling trash from a casino site in Rosemont. "The owner of D&P, Josephine DiFronzo, is married to Peter DiFronzo and is the sister-in-law of John DiFronzo, individuals who have been identified as known members of organized crime," board officials wrote at the time.

In November 2005, a Gaming Board hearing officer -- citing a memo from the FBI -- wrote D&P was "controlled" by the DiFronzo brothers. Josephine and Peter DiFronzo declined to return messages left at D&P's Northwest Side office. John DiFronzo's lawyer did not return a call.

D&P's continued involvement in government work angers the president of the Chicago Crime Commission. "I can understand if it's a private company, but we're dealing here with taxpayer money," said Jim Wagner, who headed the Chicago FBI's organized-crime squad and was the Gaming Board's investigations chief before being hired by the crime-fighting group in 2005. "Is it in the best interest of the public to do business with people who have a history of intimidation as reported by law enforcement?" he said.

Metra officials didn't know D&P had a Dumpster at the Edison Park station site until being contacted by the Chicago Sun-Times. Neither Metra nor its general contractor were aware of the firm's alleged mob links, spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said.

D&P was hired recently to haul bricks left by a subcontractor "and it doesn't sound like a lot of taxpayer dollars have gone toward them," Pardonnet said. The rail agency plans to investigate whether future dealings with D&P should be prohibited, she said.

UIC officials last year renewed D&P's longtime snowplowing contract because the firm was the low bidder and met all legal criteria, UIC spokesman Mark Rosati said. UIC paid D&P $55,169 under the deal last winter. The final tally for this winter is pending.

Susan Hofer, a state spokeswoman, said the Green Space Database makes clear that all firms named, including D&P, are not being endorsed by the state.

Thanks to Chris Fusco

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