Illinois Gov. George Ryan (R) will donate $40,000 in campaign contributions to charity after learning that the money came from an adult bookstore owner turned insurance executive linked to organized crime by the Chicago Crime Comm'n. State records show Thomas P. Matassa made donations to Ryan dating to 1996.
Matassa's money includes a $10,000 donation that earned him a spot among the 38 members of Ryan's finance committee, which had a fund-raising dinner Mar. 19. Matassa invited nine people to join him at Ryan's fundraiser, including John Serpico, ex-Laborers Int'l Union of N. Am. boss awaiting trial on federal charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering for allegedly using union assets to obtain personal loans from banks. Serpico and Matassa have been repeatedly linked to the mob by law enforcement officials. They are listed as mob associates on the Chicago Outfit Organizational Chart published in 1997 by CCC. Matassa scoffed at CCC for listing him as a mob associate. [Chi. Sun-Times & Chi. Trib. 4/8/01]
A security company -- started with an allegedly illegal loan obtained by ex-Laborers' Int'l Union of No. Am. boss John Serpico -- reportedly got $800,000 in no-bid business from the Ill. Int'l Port Authority while Serpico was chairman of the IIPA. After the Chicago Sun-Times began questioning the deal, Serpico sent a letter to Ill. Gov. George Ryan (R) saying he would not seek reappointment to the IIPA, which oversees a Chicago's South Side industrial complex. Serpico has been appointed and reappointed to IIPA by every governor except Ryan since 1975. His most recent term expired earlier this year.
A federal racketeering indictment alleges Serpico used a $195,000 loan in 1988 to provide startup cash for Protective Service Systems. It was one of nine loans cited. (For news on the other loans, visit www.nlpc.org.) Allegedly, Serpico used union muscle and cash to leverage the bank loans on sweetheart terms. [Chi. Sun-Times 9/13/99]