Bob Bytes Back Archives: 8/21/1996 Uh Oh Umberto

by Bob Fitrakis

Uh oh, Umberto. This is getting all too predictable. Sunday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that everybody’s favorite suspected minority front company, Banks Carbone Construction, is purchasing liability insurance through the Fedeli Group.

Umberto Fedeli, chair of the Ohio Turnpike Commission, is the sole owner of the Fedeli Group Insurance Company. Now, just ’cause the selling of over-priced insurance as a condition of getting contracts and business is a standard organized crime scheme, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions here. You see, that would be “anti-Italian.” Just ask Governor George Voinovich, who appointed Fedeli to the Turnpike Commission in 1991.

Recall again that the Guv’s original choice, Carmen Parise-a known Mafia associate and loan shark-withdrew from consideration after his shady past was made public. Up stepped Umberto. A former organized crime contract launderer and confidential source previously told Columbus Alive about Fedeli’s alleged ties to Youngstown and Cleveland Mafia families in an attempt to dissuade the paper from further reporting on Fedeli. A sporting sort, the source said, “Let me know if you’re going to keep reporting on this so I can make book on how long you live.”

Anyway, since becoming Turnpike chair in 1992, Fedeli has steadfastly refused to disclose his insurance agency clients who do business with the turnpike, nor will he say how much cash he’s raking in from these accounts. Fedeli failed to reveal on his required 1995 financial disclosure statement that both Banks Carbone and Ralph C. Tyler PEPS Inc., an engineering firm, began purchasing his liability insurance just before they got a piece of the turnpike $650 million project to add a lane each way between Youngstown and Toledo.

As previously reported in this column, another turnpike contractor, S.E. Johnson Companies, received a $32 million turnpike construction contract earlier this year. You can guess who they switched their insurance to in July. You’re in good hands with Umberto!

More on McGreevy

Poor Mr. McGreevy. He just wants to run as Mr. Clean Government-type against dirty ol’ “Mean Gene” Watts and Mary Jo Kilroy. But questions keep popping up about theft charges that Assistant County Prosecutor Dianne Kurilchick dismissed.

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas documents indicate that instead of representing the “people’s interest,” Kurilchick seemed to act more like McGreevy’s personal defense counsel. McGreevy, perhaps believing his own political propaganda, wanted to act as his own counsel. Instead of going in for the easy kill, Kurilchick repeatedly had the trial delayed and then sought “diversion” for McGreevy. The diversion plan is open to first-time felony offenders usually requiring restitution and community service for later expunging of the record.

According to a Common Pleas judge, McGreevy was found “unfit” for the diversion program because of his “attitude.” The fearless county prosecutor’s office dismissed the felony theft indictment against McGreevy on June 18,1996 so that he can conveniently run his ever-so ethical and clean campaign for state senate.

In dismissing the case, Mike Miller’s office cited the following reason: “state believes this is an unauthorized use of property, not theft.” McGreevy was miffed that a subcontractor hadn’t performed the work he was allegedly paid for, thus Mr. Clean lifted the man’s tools from his vehicle at a local eatery. Maybe if McGreevy wins his campaign as an Independent for state senate he can vote to send a public contract to Banks Carbone and they can finish the construction project for him.

Derailing the Mobile Chernobyl

The list of local municipalities passing resolutions in opposition to a multi-state nuclear waste dump in Ohio keeps growing. It’s damn near a full-blown movement. So far resolutions have been passed by Cleveland, Cincinnati, Bedford Heights, Brook Park, Woodmere, Brooklyn, Strongsville, Oakwood, and Painesville Township.

Let’s see. Cleveland. . . Cincinnati. . . what big city starting with a “C” is missing? Maybe the roll-over-and-play-dead lapdogs on the Columbus City Council are waiting for cues from Mr. “All Environmental Laws Are Unfunded Mandates” Mayor. Yep, maybe “Landfill” Lashutka has a cozy little site in mind in Franklin County for the radioactive waste dump. After all, he’s opposed to recycling because there’s LOTS of room left in those landfills. And there’s all those friendly waste haulers who make illegal donations to Ohio politicians who need work! And maybe Banks Carbone could build the nuke dump, too! And Umberto Fedeli could sell the insurance! That’s the ticket.

Oh, I forgot. Nuclear accidents are uninsurable. Sorry, Umberto.