"Mafia Cops" Lawsuits Allowed to Proceed

Eppolito, left, and Caracappa -- the Mafia cops who worked for Gaspipe Casso.
From The New York Law Journal: Nearly three decades after two New York City police officers carried out murders for organized crime, families of "Mafia Cops" victims can proceed with some of their claims against the city.

Ruling on seven cases regarding New York City's purported liability for Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa's notorious actions, Eastern District Judge Raymond Dearie (See Profile) said the plaintiffs overcame timeliness hurdles and made arguments about deliberate indifference and causation that were sufficient to raise factual issues for a jury.

Though Dearie said the plaintiffs presented federal municipal liability claims that could withstand the city's summary judgment motion in Pipitone v. City of New York, 06-cv-145, he dismissed their state law claims.

The murders in question occurred after the police department, in the 1980s, investigated Eppolito for allegedly leaking confidential documents to the Mob.

The documents were found in a mobster's home containing the police officer's fingerprints. Sign-in logs showed he had visited the intelligence division unaccompanied.

The department advocate's office brought charges against Eppolito, but the case was presented by one junior lawyer solely on stipulated facts. The stipulation did not include evidence that the documents were copies made at Eppolito's precinct.

"While the circumstances of the decision to try the case on stipulations remains murky, it is abundantly clear that trying disciplinary charges of such gravity on stipulations was well outside the normal course of business," Dearie noted.

Nevertheless, a deputy trial commissioner recommended Eppolito be adjudged not guilty, and Police Commissioner Benjamin Ward—an attorney with extensive experience in the disciplinary process—approved the recommendation a day after receiving it.

Eppolito was re-assigned to a neighboring precinct and subsequently promoted. He began a relationship with the Lucchese crime family and also brought in his partner, Caracappa.

Starting in 1986 and continuing through 1991, the detectives, while working for Lucchese underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, committed murders and leaked police information. Casso was apprehended in 1993 and began cooperating with federal investigators.

Eppolito and Caracappa retired in 1990 and 1992 respectively. News coverage of the former officers suspected organized crime ties began in 1992 and 1994, but they denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, the Mollen Commission concluded in 1994 that over the previous decade, the police department "largely abandoned its responsibility to police itself."

An investigation of the pair came to nothing until 2005, when federal authorities obtained a cooperation agreement with someone who worked for Casso.

Eppolito and Caracappa were indicted on federal charges, convicted the following year and are serving life sentences in prison.

Family members of the murder victims sued the city between 2006 and 2007 under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and various state statutes. They claimed that the city's intentional mishandling of the disciplinary matter and the failure to supervise Eppolito led to the murders.

Dearie first ruled that the plaintiffs' claims were timely, saying that they only accrued after the plaintiffs could have discovered with "reasonable diligence" the link between the officers' activities and the murders.

The city said that even with the discovery rule, the plaintiffs missed their chance to sue because press coverage from the mid-1990s put them on notice, but Dearie rejected that argument.

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Comments

  1. It's Mob Wives meets da Moolie's

    ReplyDelete
  2. Who was the undercover agent? Not all of them write books, I guess. This would make a hell of a story. This also raises a question about Al D'arco; if you know his history, the official FBI story here doesn't job with what's written in the book Mob Boss.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Austin McDonnellOct 7, 2014, 4:02:00 PM

    They probably woulda got away with it if Eppolito's dumbass wouldn't have drawn unwanted attention by writing his book

    ReplyDelete
  4. That and he went on a talk show, I think.... Maybe Oprah. The mother of James Hydell, the guy they served up on a plate to Gaspipe Casso, who tortured and killed him, saw him, got the book and I believe recognized Caracappa -- or something like that.... He told Eppolito not to write the book in the first place....Twisted shit....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jimmy it's Matt from Brooklyn look me up Brooklynjkd.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Renee there are some real hardcore mafioso in Canada, Vito left his family in great shape when he died

    ReplyDelete
  7. You never talk about the existence of this thing. Period. No exceptions. It doesn't exist.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ed what happened to the other 5 comments

    ReplyDelete

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