Lawyer says career Chicago mobster is harmless

September 9, 2010 5:24:30 PM PDT
Joseph "Jerry" Scalise is not a flight risk or danger to the community and the government's motion to revoke bond lacks evidence claims defense attorney Edward Genson in a motion filed Thursday.

Magistrate Nan Nolan approved of bond for Scalise on the condition that he be on 24/7 home confinement, electronic monitoring and post $500,000 as part of his pretrial release order. Prosecutors appealed to Judge Harry Leinenweber last week to revoke the Magistrate's decision.

"Mr. Scalise has only been indicted on a one-count conspiracy charge that was just in the "planning" stage. He was not in possession of any weapons when he was arrested. And although he has multiple prior convictions, he has never violated prior conditions of bond," wrote Genson.

Scalise was charged in April along with Arthur "The Genius" Rachel, 71, and Robert "Bobby" Pullia, 69, as they allegedly scouted banks to rob in the western suburbs. Federal authorities picked up the three as they were preparing to rob the Bridgeport mansion of deceased Chinatown Outfit boss Angelo "The Hook" LaPietra. They were arrested outside LaPietra's one time home with burglary tools, guns, ammo and communications equipment, according to federal agents.

At the time of their arrest, there was speculation by mobologists that Scalise and crew were going into LaPietra's former castle-like residence to retrieve the famous Marlborough diamond-missing since a daring daylight burglary in 1980. The 45-carat diamond was stolen from Graff Jewelers in London, UK. Scalise and Rachel were arrested as they arrived at O'Hare International Airport that evening, minus the diamond.

On Thursday, Genson wrote that Magistrate Nolan observed that Scalise had never violated bond after twenty arrests, "In addition to Mr. Scalise's history of good behavior while on bond, the magistrate noted that Mr. Scalise's family would support him and that they would be the court's 'eyes and ears.' One of the people who posted property as a surety even told the court he would 'chase [Scalise] down himself if he runs.'"

Genson also blasted the government for inferring that the "guns and masks found in stolen cars in a garage Mr. Scalise allegedly rented ? were going to be used to rob an armored car ? there is no evidence to connect Mr. Scalise with the items other than the fact that he allegedly rented the garage."

In a motion filed last month, prosecutors connected Scalise to a Chicago mob hit squad known as The Wild Bunch based on testimony by an admitted mob assassin during the renowned Family Secrets trial. Genson said Magistrate Nolan was correct in her assertion that Scalise's association to the hit team was mere "innuendo".

Judge Leinenweber has already ruled in favor of Magistrate Nolan's decision to let Scalice's co-defendant's Arthur "The Genius" Rachel, 71, and Robert "Bobby" Pullia, 69, out on bond.


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