Candidates vying for the chance to run for the office of President of the United States in the next presidential election. Hillary Clinton is one of the front-runners to be chosen for the Democratic ticket. In her quest to be boss of the country, she will be holding a fundraiser at a Staten Island home built and formerly occupied by the former “Boss of all Bosses,” Paul Castellano. There have been many that have been critical of Clinton’s move, but she and supporters contend that there’s no harm. The 17-room mansion in Todt Hill has not been owned by Castellano since he was assassinated in 1985. Anyway, it is an appropriate venue, because “Big Paulie” designed it to look like the White House.
Paul Castellano goes down in La Cosa Nostra history as boss of the Gambino Family, once the most powerful of the Five Families of the American Mafia. Before succeeding mob great Carlo Gambino in 1976, and after serving as capo under Albert Anastasia, he was seen as the business mind behind the Gambinos. Trained as a butcher, Castellano opened Dial Poultry, a poultry distributor that supplied meat to 300 butchers in New York City. He had so many customers, because he intimidated many to buy from him using threats of harm. His main bread-making operation was monopoly control of NYC’s construction concrete, through his Scara-Mix Concrete Corporation. He also attended to Gambino interests in the Concrete Club, a Mafia collaboration running on money from New York developers. Developers could not pour concrete for any project above $2 million without approval from this outfit. Castellano also controlled Teamsters Union Local Chapter 282, which provided all concrete workers for jobs.
Castellano’s downfall was running afoul of possibly the most infamous Mafia boss of modern times, John Gotti. Not everybody was happy when Castellano was named Carlo Gambino’s successor. He was chosen over underboss Aniello “Neil” Dellacroce. Though Castellano named Dellacroce as an underboss, the family was split and a rivalry began. Gotti was loyal to Dellacroce and made it known that he didn’t think Castellano was gangster enough to run the family as Don. Gotti’s ire for Castellano was exacerbated when “Big Paulie” implied he would break up Gotti’s crew for selling drugs, something Castellano forbade.
Gotti conspired with infamous government informant Salvatore “Sammy The Bull” Gravano and others to kill Castellano. The hit was carried out as Castellano and bodyguard Thomas Bilotti drove to a meeting at Sparks Steak House in Midtown Manhattan. Shooters ran up on Costellano and Bilotti and shot them to death outside of the steakhouse as Gotti watched from a car across the street. Though Gotti’s hit of Castellano enraged family heads like Vicente Gigante because it was never OK’d by The Commission, tempers quelled and Gotti ascended to the seat of Don in the Gambino Family.
The 15,000 sq. ft. manison that Hillary Clinton will be holding her $2700-per-person fundraiser in was a crowning achievement of Paul Castellano’s. Constructed out of Carrara marble, it features an Olympic-sized swimming pool and an English garden. When not entertaining company, Castellano would chill out in there in silk robes and velvet slippers. It was also a target of the feds, as they had tapped the phones there.
The mansion was purchased by owner of New York City contracting company Benjamin Maintenance Sal Rusi for $3.1 million in 2000, according to the NY Daily News. It is said to be worth $2,640,000, now.