The Chicago Syndicate: The Chumbolone Casino
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Chumbolone Casino

So as I took last week off -- with some readers fearing I'd been chained in a City Hall dungeon for writing the words "Mayor Chucky" -- an amazing thing happened. (I took the week off after Kass did, which is why you are going to get a slew of articles today.)

Mayor Richard Daley agreed he'd like City Hall to own a gigantic casino, with all the contracts to be overseen by a special city gaming board hand-picked by the mayor himself. Please don't call it the City Hall Casino or the Daley Casino. That's rude. Call it the Chumbolone Casino.

A casino with all the contracts and jobs and deals hidden from public view should be named for all of us chumbolones who believe taxes will decrease if the casino is built.

So I'm calling on you, the readers of this column, to help the mayor by coming up with recommendations for the posts of Chumbolone Casino boss and on the Chumbolone Casino board.

The mayor has been under great stress, and nobody wants him to get angry and transform into the Mayor Chucky persona, which would terrify the Olympic selection committee. Let's help the mayor instead.

Send your Chumbolone Casino recommendations to me, and we'll present them to the mayor in a special ceremony to be held either at the Polish sausage stand on 31st Street, or at Tavern on Rush, whichever he prefers.

"Who'll handle the patronage at the mayor's casino?" asked a loyal reader who calls himself Leprechaun. "There will be jobs there, right?"

Robert Sorich. Who else?

Sorich, the mayor's former patronage boss, was convicted in federal court as part of a scheme that rigged city job applications to illegally build massive patronage armies for the mayor, in direct violation of a federal court order. Sorich is appealing his conviction on mail fraud, not racketeering, as I'd reported recently.

But who'll run the gambling? I've got just the guy behind the guy:


Rayjo -- known formally as Raymond John Tominello -- comes from the mayor's neighborhood. Nobody calls him Raymond, or Ray. They call him Rayjo.

I have a suspicion that the mayor may know Rayjo, but I've been waiting for those tough TV reporters who like spanking the Urkel out of the hapless Todd Stroger to ask Daley if he knows Rayjo, or not.

Rayjo is eminently qualified. Consider his background.

Rayjo tutored under the famous Don "The Wizard of Odds" Angelini and Dominic Cortina, the Chicago Outfit's top bookies back in the 1980s, and he pleaded guilty to being one of their top lieutenants and went to prison for his crimes.

Before and after his release, Rayjo was in the real estate business with the mayor's second favorite developer, Thomas DiPiazza, on several deals in Bridgeport, and the sale of land to the Chicago Board of Education for almost a million dollars.

See? Rayjo and Tommy D. care about the school children.

And a few months ago, Rayjo was also mentioned in federal testimony in the Family Secrets trial. Chicago Outfit hit man-turned-government witness Nick Calabrese testified about a meeting to establish the pecking order in a Bridgeport gambling operation.

Calabrese said he met with several tough guys, including Outfit loan shark and former Chicago Police Officer Anthony "Twan" Doyle. Twan was convicted in Family Secrets for passing key information on an Outfit murder to Calabrese's brother, Frank Calabrese Sr., while the FBI was recording their conversations.

(Ironically, Twan invented the term "chumbolone," which he insisted means stupid idiot.)

At that meeting were Frank Sr., the late Outfit enforcer Ronnie Jarrett and Outfit figure Mario Dispensia. Oh, and one other guy.


How's that for qualifications?

Like his buddy Tommy D., Rayjo also worked for the city, so he has a public service background too.

So Rayjo it is, for chief operating officer of the Chumbolone Casino.

Yet there are other important casino jobs, from scooping up the quarters in the slot machines, to running the VIP bottle service for high-rollers, even building the casino itself, and securing City Hall occupancy permits. And don't forget the Chumbolone Casino board. I'm sure you'll find responsible people. But don't ask Jim Wagner, president of the Chicago Crime Commission. He argues that, given City Hall's habit of playing footsie with the Outfit for the last century, a casino won't save taxpayers money.

"You'll end up having to pay a tax for all the corruption that will be brought into play, with the contracts, with the sweetheart deals, with the ghost employees and, history has shown, with the corruption of government and law enforcement," Wagner said.

Wagner spent decades with the FBI, hunting the Chicago Outfit. So, naturally, City Hall sniffs at his concerns.

So who will we put on the board? And who'll scoop up the quarters?

Please help the mayor help you.

Your baby needs a new pair of shoes.

Thanks to John Kass

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