Feds rest in mob-union trial of reputed Genovese soldier Joseph Olivieri

The Daily News

BY |Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 4:00 AM

Prosecutors ended their case Tuesday in the perjury trial of the Genovese crime family’s reputed go-to guy in city construction unions.

A parade of mobsters, crooked contractors and corrupt union officials told of cocaine-fueled sitdowns with the boss of the city carpenters union, payoffs in bars and a clandestine meeting in a graveyard as the FBI closed in.

Reputed Genovese soldier Joseph Olivieri, ex-head of the Wall-Ceiling Association of drywall contractors, is the last of nine to face judgment in a Manhattan Federal Court case that saw District Council of Carpenters boss Michael Forde and seven cohorts plead guilty to a federal racketeering indictment.

Olivieri, who also was a trustee of the carpenters union benefit funds, is charged with lying when he testified he had no relationship with Genovese capo Louis Moscatiello and James Murray, owner of On Par Contracting.

In the week-long trial, Joseph Rizzuto, former boss of Operating Engineers Local 14, testified that Olivieri carried Moscatiello’s orders to union brass, and FBI agents told of watching the two in sitdowns.

John Greaney, Forde’s No. 2, put Olivieri and Murray at the center of a decade-long scheme making bribery the business model for building in New York.

Greaney, who pleaded guilty in July, testified in blue prison garb. “Mike was a user of marijuana and cocaine,” Greaney said of Forde.

Greaney said he and Forde were taking bribes to let contractors like Murray use low-paid, nonunion workers on union construction jobs.

Murray returned last year from two years in Ireland, where he went to dodge prosecution, pleaded guilty and testified that he befriended Olivieri, giving his company $1.25 million in excavation contracts and lending him money to buy houses.

Olivieri later introduced Murray to Larry Cooley, Suffolk County’s deputy labor commissioner, who testified that he made Murray a secret partner in his company, Commercial Drywall. Cooley testified that after investigators quizzed him about the scam, he alerted Olivieri and took Murray on a wild ride to a Long Island cemetery to warn him.

Olivieri’s lawyer, Brian Gardner, is expected to mount his defense today.

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