Fred “Peanuts” Roti, an old-time Chicago politician and reputed organized crime figure died from cancer Sep. 20 in Chicago. He was 78. Roti’s name was in the news last month when a Dep’t of Justice and LIUNA racketeering suit was settled. It alleged that the Chicago Laborers’ Dist. Council has been dominated for 30 years by top organized crime figures. And it contended for the first time that Roti was a full-fledged member of the Chicago “Outfit” (a.k.a. the mob), a key patronage boss and fixer for the mob. Roti, by then seriously ill, never commented on the allegations.
Roti long alleged to be organized crime’s representative in the City Council, spent more than 50 years in government in posts ranging from state senator to city drain inspector. He was best known as the Alderman of the 1st Ward, which then included Chicago’s “Loop,” and he served for more than two decades–from 1968 until a few months after his 1990 indictment on corruption charges. He was subsequently convicted, sentenced to four years in prison. His father, Bruno “the Bomber” Roti, was a reportedly small-time gangster under Al Capone. [Chi. Trib. 9/21/99]