Friday, July 08, 2005

Consultant Axed in Melrose Park as Feds Investigate

Developments this week in Melrose Park had all the makings of a salacious novel. A federal investigation. Dubious contracts. A little known disbarred lawyer named Anthony Bruno. Bruno, a longtime personal friend of Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico, was unceremoniously dumped from the city's payroll when his contract with them was not renewed. Bruno, a professional "rainmaker" for Melrose Park et al suburbs regularly garnered fees in the ten thousands.
A federal investigation into what is euphemistically known as the Melrose Park Water Project is pending. Nearly have a million of its 42 million price tag went for "public relations," in addition to the cost of hiring a private security firm-and one connected to Melrose Park police chief Vito Scavo, at that-"guard" the pipes in question. Bruno's spokeswoman(who has the unfortunate-or poetically appropriate-surname of "Lazarus")denies that he has been subpoenaed, though, of course, that is not a public record, so that must rest unconfirmed. Joseph Giglio-general counsel to Cicero and Melrose Park-while acknowledging that he is not an admirer of Bruno's-seemed convinced that Serpico did not have "any involvement in this."(I would presume that this Giglio is of the Giglio dynasty and related to former state legislator Frank Giglio, who was defeated in his 1994 congressional bid by a little known state rep named Jerry Weller.)
UPDATE:According the ARDC, Bruno was disbarred for having committed a litany of miscues. He never filed a lawsuit for a client he was representing and whom he had assured that he would, and did not keep them apprised of court dates. He also discussed a case without their having waived attorney client privilege. One of the more sordid passages of the documents available online from the ARDC reads:
"Respondent claimed he was overwhelmed and burdened by other obligations (T 80); that he had marital problems and was "starting" with a drinking problem (T-81); that he was spending only 20 to 30 hours a week on his law practice with over 400 active files (T 81). Respondent further testified that drinking was a problem for about two years, being severe for three to six months. He saw a psychiatrist, but did not get involved with any program (T 95), and he no longer had a drinking problem."
(Disclaimer:This is public record and is courtesy of the ARDC and was identified as being from the file on "Anthony S Bruno" who was admitted to the bar in the 1978. To the best of our knowledge, this is the aforementioned Anthony Bruno. Another Anthony Bruno, admitted in 1933, has also been disbarred.)

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