Don Bauder 6:30 p.m., Aug. 21
Detective "Vaguely" Recalls Threat against Kessler, Family
Daniel Vile, the police detective who, with the FBI, did a major study on alleged corruption by Little Italy powerhouse Marco Li Mandri and felon Paul (Joe) Mannino, in a deposition April 8 testified that he "vaguely" recalled a Mannino threat against Scott Kessler and his family. Kessler is suing the city for wrongful termination. He says he was fired by the city administration because he cooperated with the FBI and the police detective on their study of Li Mandri and Mannino. (Vile testified that the study took much of his time over two years.) Mannino was indicted on drug, firearms and racketeering charges in New York in 1980, was convicted and went to prison. FBI documents suggest that he was a member of the New York Genovese crime family. He met Li Mandri in 2000.
In the deposition, Kessler's lawyer, Josh Gruenberg, asks Vile, "Do you recall finding a document that constituted a threat against Mr. Kessler and his family?" Vile said he did not recall. Gruenberg reworded the query: "Does that sound failiar that there was a threat against Scott and his family, his kids, that you found in Mannino's office?" Vile said, "I have a vague recollection of seeing something like that."
Vile also said he had heard an accusation that Mannino used a false Social Security number. Vile said in the deposition that the case "should have been prosecuted." District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis did not prosecute and went to Mayor Jerry Sanders to tell him so. But repeatedly in the deposition, Vile said he did not recall or did not know key details of the case -- say, whether politics or the mayor entered into the decision not to prosecute, or whether he was warned by his superiors not to cooperate with Kessler. Vile said that after the case was turned down by the DA, he was told by a superior not to talk with Kessler.