|Anthony M. Scotto|
Scotto moved in high-echelon political and business circles. But, in 1979, federal investigators found that labor racketeering was still the order of the day on the waterfront. Scotto was then general organizer of the AFL-CIO International Longshoremen's Association and president of the union's Local 1814 in Brooklyn, Tough Tony's old fiefdom and one of the top three posts in the 100,000-member union, representing workers from Maine to Texas. Scotto was arrested.
Scotto's father-in-law was tried along with him, and both were convicted despite such character witnesses for Scotto as New York governor Hugh L. Carey, (who called him trustworthy, energetic, intelligent, effective and dedicated) and two former New York mayors, Robert Wagner and John V. Lindsay.
Scotto was convicted of taking more than $200,000 in cash payoffs from waterfront businesses despite his claim that he had "never taken a cent" for himself from anyone. He did allow he had accepted a number of "political contributions," not payoffs, totaling $75,000, which he claimed he gave to New York lieutenant governor Mario M. Cuomo in his unsuccessful bid for the mayoralty in 1977 and to Carey for his successful 1978 reelection try.
Scotto could have been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, but U.S. District Judge Charles E. Steward Jr. gave him only five years and fined him $75,000, explaining he had been "extremely impressed" by letters from numerous business, labor and political leaders pleading for leniency.