New York Daily News
A boss of many outfits
Scotto, union head & reputed Mafia capo, dies at 87
Anthony Scotto, a powerful waterfront union leader and reputed Gambino crime family boss whose career took him to the White House and the federal penitentiary, has died at 87, his daughter announced Sunday on Instagram.
Scotto, born in 1934, grew up in Brooklyn’s Red Hook and Carroll Gardens neighborhoods and first worked on his native borough’s docks as a longshoreman at age 16, said his daughter and “Good Day New York” co-anchor Rosanna Scotto.
He rose through the ranks of his union, becoming head of International Longshoremen Association Local 1814 in 1963.
The next year he was photographed in the White House with President Lyndon Johnson and on his way as a powerhouse of political influence.
“Political leaders sought his endorsement — everyone from Gov. Hugh Carey to Mario Cuomo to Mayors Lindsay, Beame and U.S Congress people including Sen. Robert F. Kennedy to President Jimmy Carter,” his daughter wrote. “He lectured about
labor relations at Harvard University.”
But Scotto walked in less savory corridors of power as well.
In 1969, the Department of
Justice named him as a capo in the Gambino crime family.
He pushed back, calling the claim “anti-labor tactics” and a vendetta. But a decade later
the union boss was indicted on federal bribery and racketeering charges.
Then 45, Scotto was convicted of receiving cash payoffs of more than $200,000. He was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $75,000 on Jan. 22, 1980.
The nine-week trial “historically may be considered one of the most significant investigations and prosecutions undertaken by the FBI at that time,” according to documents obtained from the Department of Justice.
After arriving at the federal prison in Danbury, Conn., behind the wheel of his Cadillac, Scotto proclaimed his innocence once more before heading inside.
‘‘My conscience is clear,” he said.
Scotto’s family remembered him Sunday as a beloved husband, father of four and grandfather of eight.
Rosanna Scotto credited him with helping reopen the family’s restaurant on E. 52nd St., Fresco by Scotto. The restaurant shuttered because of the pandemic in March 2020.
“He enjoyed golfing with his friends, loved a good cigar and relished making Sunday Sauce with his family,” Rosanna Scotto wrote.
“He was loved by everyone and will be missed dearly.”