Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Al Pirro: Forest City Ratner (ex-)lobbyist, lawyer, and dinner guest from Mob Wives (according to the Post, though he denies it)

Al Pirro--lawyer, lobbyist, and estranged husband of former Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro--was a small but not unimportant character in the federal corruption trial involving former Yonkers City Councilwoman Sandy Annabi and her mentor, political fixer Zehy Jereis.

(The jury's still deliberating, by the way, after two full days.)

Pirro served as a lobbyist for developer Forest City Ratner, which desperately needed Annabi's vote to get its Ridge Hill retail/residential project passed.

While Pirro was mentioned in testimony by several witnesses, he was never called to testify himself--perhaps because prosecutors recognized that, with his felony record of tax fraud (and rumors of mob ties), Pirro might be red meat to defense attorneys.

A boozed-up dinner

Now, according to the New York Post, there's another reason to be wary of Pirro: he can be a nasty, threatening drunk.

The paper's exclusive, based on anonymous sources, describes what a witness likened to a scene from Mob Wives: Pirro and nine friends hit Massa, a farmhouse style restaurant and wine bar in Scarsdale, at 9 p.m. Saturday, already sloshed.

They then imbibed three bottles and five glasses of wine, and a dozen mixed drinks. But when a Pirro pal lost his cellphone and accused a waiter of theft, the shouting began.

At one point, restaurant personnel thought they had things under control, even getting the party outside, it wasn't over, according to the newspaper:
But then one of the liquored-up ladies started screaming, “You motherf--ker! You son of a bitch!” causing tempers to flare anew, and Pirro barreled back inside for Round 2, the sources said.
“Pirro came in like a maniac, charging, yelling, ‘I’ll f--king kill you, you don’t know who the f--k you’re dealing with!’ ” and punched a waiter in the chest, they said.
Pirro's denial

Pirro and his lawyer didn't respond to the Post's queries. But he did tell the Journal News the paper got it wrong:
Pirro confirmed that his dinner friend, a man identified only by his first name, Robert, got into a “ridiculous” argument with restaurant staff over the “stupid telephone.” He told me that a lot of wine and other alcohol was consumed, but he only drank iced tea.

Indeed, he insisted he did nothing wrong and was only trying to break up the fracas.

“I was not hit, I was not punched, I did not throw a punch,” he said. “I was not cursing or swearing. The only thing I insisted on was to tell everybody, ‘Get out and go home.’ And that was it. I didn’t think anything further of it.”

...He said his story could be confirmed by Francesco Coli, the owner of Massa. Coli did not return my call Monday, but evidently told other news outlets that Al was innocent of any misbehavior.

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