Illinois Police & Sheriff's News
Cicero's Mob Princess to
Axe Good Cops
IPSN Newspaper, April 28, 1997
(C) Combined Counties Police Association, All Rights Reserved
Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese is preparing to
eliminate the Police & Fire Commission protections for ranking Police Officers,
sources in the department said, as part of a new policy to decentralize the Police
Department and put control in her own hands.
* Announced the creation of a special unit that she calls "The
Untouchables" that will investigate police actions and report directly to her.
* Paid $70,000 in a non-bid contract to a Naperville company to provide personal security
* Ordered fired dozens of Cicero Police Officers who she alleges maintain residencies
outside of the Town of Cicero, while allowing trusted aides to maintain dual resiendency.
Loren-Maltese, whose administration is linked to known organized crime figures and Mafia
associates, is under investigation by the FBI. New subpoenas targeting her administration
were issued as recently as two weeks ago seeking information on her financial and
Police sources said that Loren-Maltese has targeted the Cicero PD believing that officers
there cooperated with the FBI probe of her administration and that many opposed her
re-election last February.
John J. Flood, a recognized authority on organized crime figures and their political
associates, and president of the Combined Counties Police Association, said he is outraged
and shocked at the actions of the Loren-Maltese administration.
"Her actions are reprehensible and it is clear that she is out of control,"
Flood said. "We intend to continue to monitor her actions and we are looking at the
worsening situation there closely."
The Cicero Police source said Loren-Maltese plans to eliminate through attrition
lieutenants and captains, as part of the planned crackdown.
"The highest ranking position protected by the Police and Fire Commission will be
sergeant," said one officer who asked not to be identified. "Lieutenants and
captains will be eliminated and a new rank of commander will be created that is appointed
and dismissed at her whim, under the proposal."
The source said the proposal may have to receive the support of the Cicero Town Board,
which historically rubber-stamps the president's action.
"The ranking police officers will work directly under the thumb of the Town President
under her new plan," the Cicero police officer said.
"We're concerned because we are not getting the kind of support we deserve from the
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge here in Cicero."
The FOP represents Cicero Police officers and has been criticized for poor leadership and
for refusing to stand up for the rights of its members in confrontations with the Town's
political leadership. In fact, several of the FOP activists are working with Loren-Maltese
on her political organization.
Flood charged that political interference by Loren-Maltese in police matters in Cicero
will further undermine their ability to perform their duties professionally and will
weaken police protection for Cicero's residents.
"The last thing Cicero Police need is more interference from the Town President but
you can't expect the FOP to stand up for their rights," Flood said.
"It's obvious that the Cicero police need better representation and we are ready to
work with them. They need someone who will stand up to Ms. Loren-Maltese and her hoodlum
friends, and prevent her politicization of the Police Department."
Flood said he is not surprised that the FOP has failed to defend Cicero Police officers
who have been targeted since the election for retribution. Several officers have been
demoted and reassigned, allegedly because of their role in opposing Loren-Maltese's
"There should be no politics in the Cicero Police Department of any kind. I am
against that and I am sure that those officers who have dedicated themselves to
professionalism only wish one thing: to do their jobs," Flood said.
Flood added that the FOP leadership in Chicago also maintains a cozy relationship with the
Daley administration, selling out the best interests of rank and file police there.
Acting Police Chief Stephen Zalas, who took the post after his highly decorated
predecessor Emil J. Schullo was ousted by Loren-Maltese late last year, resigned
Zalas was succeeded by Clarence Gross, a controversial police officer plagued by
questionable conduct. Gross is also reportedly under Justice Department investigation for
allegedly beating a handcuffed prisoner who was suspected in the harassment of his
Cicero police justice!
Gross, a high ranking member of Loren-Maltese's political group, the Town Republican
Organization of Cicero, is also instrumental in identifying police officers who refused to
work for the Loren-Maltese's re-election campaign. He was frequently seen at the
president's campaign offices distributing her political propaganda sheet, "The
Despite his political obedience, Gross will be replaced by an out-of-town candidate
favored by Loren-Maltese and her chief adviser, Ed Vrdolyak.
At a board meeting in April, Loren-Maltese, dubbed the "Mafia Princess" by the
news media, rammed through a $70,000 payment to a Naperville company providing security
services that has no known office location and that operates using a mobile telephone.
When contacted by the IPSN, officials of Federal Investigative Services, who have received
more than $100,000 in no-bid contract payments from Loren-Maltese to date, refused to
discuss the contract or comment on their responsibilities.
Sources said the company provides the four security guards who accompany Loren-Maltese 24
hours a day, and are likely to become the so-called "Untouchables" unit. Loren-
Maltese spokesman Dave Donahue was quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times saying
her bodyguards are paid for by her political committeeman's fund, which last year was
reported to have more than $1 million in cash, the largest in Cook County.
Loren-Maltese has informed some 35 Cicero Police officers that they have two weeks to move
back into town or face firing. Despite her campaign promise to lift residency for Cicero
employees, Loren-Maltese will no longer allow police officers to locate their families in
homes outside of Cicero while maintaining apartments in town. Loren-Maltese has been aware
of the practice for years, but never acted on the issue until now.
The first ordered to leave is veteran officer Capt. Donald Pignato.
Ironically, Loren-Maltese will not act on information against several close allies who
work at town hall but whose families allegedly live outside of Cicero. Among them is
housing advisor Anthony Biancofiore, the brother of the late Chicago mobster Michael Biancofiore.
There has been no comment from Cicero's FOP Lodge officers.
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