Walter Mencken 7 p.m., Dec. 10
A Family (Genovese) Affair?
This morning (Oct. 15), Superior Court Judge John S. Meyer will give his final judgment on the City of San Diego's attempt to have the Kessler vs. City of San Diego case thrown out. Yesterday in a tentative ruling, the judge denied the City's bid and said the case should go forward. Scott Kessler says he was fired by the City for cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the San Diego Police in its investigation of possible corruption of Little Italy mover and shaker Marco Li Mandri and Paul (Joe) Mannino, a convicted felon. The Reader has previously reported that the Drug Enforcement Administration in New York City traced Quaalude sales to a Paul Mannino and found boxes of the drugs in his car. He was indicted in 1980 and convicted of violation of federal drug, firearms, and racketeering laws. He went to prison and after getting out, met Li Mandri around 2000.
There is more to this case than meets the eye. Under the Freedom of Information Act, civic activist Mel Shapiro requested more facts on the case from the FBI. He got very little, but what he did get was eye-opening. On the FBI report, the initials used in the title are OC/DI. Former FBI officials tell me that means "organized crime/drug investigation." Below are these initials: "LCN - Genovese." An FBI agent told Shapiro, and former FBI agents told me, that this means that the investigation focused on La Cosa Nostra, or Mafia, and the Genovese family, one of the five major organized crime families in New York City, rivaled in power only by the Gambino family and the Chicago outfit.
The FBI report goes on to state that the investigation was by the bureau and San Diego police, but the San Diego district attorney "declined prosecution of the above-captioned case." The Reader has reported several times that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis did not pursue the case, even though it was exhaustively researched by the FBI and a San Diego police detective.
I will report on the judge's decision as soon as I hear the outcome.