Mets handed out $52M in taxpayer money to contractors with Mafia ties
The Mets shelled out $51.6 million in taxpayer money to contractors shunned by the city for their ties to the Mafia, labor corruption or bribery, The Post has learned.
At least seven contractors the city avoids were hired by the team to build Citi Field between 2006 and 2009, according to government records.
The tainted companies were paid from a $91 million pot the city Economic Development Corp. gave to the Mets.
Among the contractors was Ruttura & Sons, a Long Island firm that received $23 million for concrete and excavation work. Its vice president, Peter Ruttura, was convicted of fraud in 2004 for paying off business agents and labor officials in mobbed-up unions, according to court records.
After the conviction, the company was banned from doing business with the EDC and the city School Construction Authority. It was also placed on the city's "caution list," which warns city agencies of contract bidders' past problems, according to city records.
As part of its agreement with the EDC, the Mets had to submit records detailing how it spent the $91 million and to whom it was paid. Those records show at least six other Citi Field contractors on the caution list.
Queens-based S.N. Tannor Inc. was paid $3.5 million for electrical work despite owner Evan Tannor's 2007 felony conviction for giving $350,000 in kickbacks to disgraced labor boss and ex-state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin, according to court records.
Another Queens firm, Eagle One Roofing, was paid $7 million. Its principal, Damian Sabatino, was convicted of fraud in 2001 for bribing a labor official, money laundering, falsifying business records and prevailing-wage violations. Sabatino also pleaded guilty to income-tax evasion in 1996.
Other shady Citi Field contractors included:
* L & L Painting Co., which the FBI is currently investigating over an MTA contract, according to records. It has been suspended from doing business with the school authority. It was paid $5.6 million for stadium work.
* The Landtek Group, an athletic-field contractor that in the last four years has been probed by the city comptroller's office and the New York and New Jersey labor departments. It landed $2.4 million.
* Danco Electrical, which was busted for submitting fraudulent information to the school authority and banned from doing business with that agency until 2010. It earned $4 million.
* Breeze National, a demolition company whose principal was convicted of federal bribery charges in 1988 and reportedly has ties to the mob. It was paid $5.5 million.
The EDC said its standard practice is not to vet past first-tier subcontractors.
The Mets said in a statement that subcontractors were hired on the recommendation of Hunt-Bovis.
"The selections were based on the capability and resources of the contractors and their ability to complete the work on schedule and on budget. Citi Field was built on time, on budget and without incident or injury," the team said.