HONOR THY GODFATHER

HONOR THY GODFATHER

Since it seems to be in fashion for top Arizona public officials like Governor Fife Symington and Senator John McCain to pay honor to Godfather Joe Bonnano, we thought readers might enjoy the transcript of a deportation hearing where none other than the father of our illustrious ex-senior Senator Dennis DeConcini laid his reputation on the line to save the Godfather. Bonnano is named in the DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY's official history of organized crime as the "principal architect of the French Heroin Connection, the chairman of the 5 families of New York, and founder of La Costa Nostra". Since Bonnano originally entered the United States illegally, the U.S. Customs had a pat case prepared to deport him. That was before Evo Deconcini went to bat for his close friend. Dennis went on to become co-chairman of the Senate Narcotics Control Committee.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Plaintiff,

vs.

NO. CIV-701

JOSEPH BONNANO,

Defendant.

__________________________)

APPEARANCES:

MR. ROBERT ROYSLTON

For the Plaintiff

MR. THOMAS CHANDLER & MR. PAUL CELLA

For the Defendant

The above-entitled matter came up for hearing on Bill to Cancel Naturalization, on the 16th day of December, 1954, at Tucson, Arizona, before the HON. JAMES A WALSH, United States District Judge, and the following is a partial transcript of proceedings had, to wit:

EVO DE CONCINI

called as a witness herein, having been first duly sworn, testified on his oath as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY MR. CHANDLER:

Q: Would you state your name, please?

A: Evo De Concini.

Q: Where do you live, Mr. De Concini?

A: Tucson.

Q: How long have you lived in Tucson?

A: Thirty-four years.

Q: During the period of time that you have lived in Arizona have you held any particular public jobs or positions?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: Would you tell me very briefly what they were?

A: I was judge of the Superior Court for six years, Attorney General for one year and four years on the Arizona Supreme Court as one of the justices.

Q: That goes without saying then you are an attorney and member of the bar of this state?

A: Yes, I have been a member for a little over twenty years.

Q: Are you acquainted with Mr. Joseph Bonnano, the gentleman who sits here?

A: Yes, I know him.

Q: How long have you known Mr. Bonnano?

A: Since 1942 or '43, but I think it is 1942.

Q: Where did you meet him?

A: Met him at the Old Pueblo Club at a luncheon.

Q: That is here in Tucson?

A: In Tucson, yes.

Q: Have you seen him frequently since that time?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: Have those times of seeing him been periodic, regular, or how would you classify them, Judge?

A: Well, periodic because I was living in Phoenix for five years and during those years I didn't see him very often. Occasionally, when I came down to Tucson I would see him and in Phoenix when he came to my office, and once to my home.

Q: Do you have mutual acquaintances?

A: Yes.

Q: Are there few or many mutual acquaintances?

A: There are quite a few. Mr. Anderson just testified whom I have known; Mr. Bill Anthony, the furniture man, and there are a number, like Joe Vantone (phonetic), members of the American-Italian Club, and a retired doctor; a Dr. Meknay (phonetic), and Gus Patella (phonetic) from Eloy, a very close friend of Mr. Bonnano's and a friend of mine. (Editor's comment: It is very unusual for phonetic spellings to be found in court transcripts.)

Q: Are there others you have not mentioned?

A: Yes, there are a number of people in town in business whom I know. I know Mr. Barry -- one of the salesmen --

MR ROYLSTON: If I may interrupt, Judge, I object to naming these mutual acquaintances. I have no objection they have numerous ones, but I think who they are and what they do is immaterial.

THE COURT: The objection will be sustained.

Q: (By Mr. Chandler) Judge, are you acquainted with Mr. Bonnano's reputation in this community for truth and veracity?

A: Yes, I am.

Q: What, in your opinion, is his reputation for truth and veracity?

A: I believe it is very good. In fact, I believe it is excellent.

MR. CHANDLER: Cross-examine.

MR. ROYLSTON: No questions.

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