A fund-raiser for Republican Astoria state Senate candidate Aurelio “Tony” Arcabascio, held this weekend at a Long Island pizzeria, had a visitor in John Gotti Jr., son of the notorious Gambino crime family mob boss.
Gotti had once been tried on charges of a murder attempt on anti-crime activist Curtis Sliwa, but multiple juries for the case had been unable to reach a verdict and the charges were dropped. Sliwa criticized Arcabascio for Gotti’s attendance at the event on his radio show Monday morning.
Arcabascio, who is hoping to unseat Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), said Gotti is a frequent visitor to the restaurant, Saggio’s, which is owned by his older brother Joe. He said his brother, who held the fund-raiser, invited all his customers to the event.
“John Gotti Jr. is a patron of his restaurant,” Arcabascio said. “He eats there five out of seven nights of the week.”
He added that Gotti was not a supporter and had not made a contribution to or participated in his campaign.
“The public’s perception of things is often worse than what the reality of this situation is,” Arcabascio said.
Gianaris said in a statement in response, “Regardless of the character of my opponent and his supporters, I look forward to standing for re-election on the strength of my own record.”
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cn
©2012 Community News Group
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