Indicted Illinois Boss Attends Governor’s Fundraiser

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]