Frmr. “Goodfella” Pulls Back Veil on Mob Control of Construction Unions

Excerpt from “The O’Reilly Factor,” Oct. 1, 2002: Bill O’Reilly, Mafia informant Henry Hill and Attny. Robert Simel

O’REILLY: The Big Dig in Boston and road construction surrounding New York City have both gone billions over budget and is taking forever. There are heavy rumors of mob involvement not only on these projects but also all over America.

The question is: Why is this being allowed to happen? Why is organized crime scooping up our tax dollars…

Now, Counselor, can you get specific about what organized crime does to, number one, slow these projects down, and, number two, how do they make money doing it?

ROBERT SIMEL, HENRY HILL’S ATTORNEY:…What they want to do from the beginning is get a piece of the pie going into it. So they’ll sit down, and the unions and the builders will all come together and come up with a number. Part of that number is going to organized crime.

And what they do is they get some no-show jobs, they get some people who show up that don’t do anything, they get money that’s actually coming out of the construction itself, sheet rock, materials that disappear, and those are the kinds of things…

O’REILLY: And the State of New York, the State of Massachusetts — they don’t supervise this, or they don’t — what do they do?

SIMEL: They have no control.

HILL: Bill, I had my first union card when I was 14 years old. The shop steward used to pick me up. Now that’s the guy the union puts in there to watch over the safety conditions of the job, and that’s — you know — and he controlled probably 10 ghost — you know, 10 phantoms that did not show up, and I — well, I used to show up occasionally…

O’REILLY:…Can we assume that most construction projects in New York City and Boston and
other — most are being run this way by organized crime? Can we assume that?

HILL: Well, the government is — the government has taken over quite a few unions and — you know — and they — they’ve put a dent in it, but it’s never going to go away. There’s just way too much money involved in it, and it’s something that — you know, that — it’s there for good. I mean… every — every other concrete that they pour in the city is taxed, and every ounce of steel that comes out — you know, comes out of those mills is taxed.

O’REILLY: All right. When you say “taxed,” that means there’s a piece of that going to organized crime. They just peel off the money and give it to them.

HILL: Absolutely. And then — and then you have the pension funds. Now the — you know…

O’REILLY: Yes. I don’t want to get into the pension funds now. That’s just too…big…All right. Now, Mr. Hill, do you think there’s any way you can clean this up? Could Governor Pataki do something about this, if he wanted to, in New York?

HILL: Listen, if Giuliani couldn’t do it, no one can do it.