Lewis Kasman, the turncoat godson of dead Mafia don John Gotti, has jumped feet first into local politics.
He’s accusing Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, who’s up for reelection, of associating with a man with ties to organized crime – and even taking his money and charity!
Kasman, who’s in a federal protection program after ratting out Gotti’s son to stay out of jail, came out of hiding to make his claim loud and clear during a telephone appearance on the Seaview-960 AM’s Cop Talk Radio.
Kasman, who was also the business manager of Gotti’s Gambino gang, didn’t endorse anyone for office. But he said he just wanted to make sure voters know about Bradshaw’s friendship with Palm Beach Gardens yacht builder John Staluppi.
The latter’s association with members of the Colombo gangland family in New York has been well documented by government and the press.
And Kasman threw some fuel on the simmering fire.
“I met John Staluppi in person often on behalf of my old boss John Gotti,” Kasman said on both the radio show and later in an interview with Gossip Extra. “Since he was a car dealer on Long Island, he used to sell us (the Gambino gang) cars at a good price. It was all legit. We paid for the cars, but we knew where to go to buy them.”
In the 1990s, the Robert De Niro lookalike Staluppi was suspected by several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, to be someone who may have provided cash, cars and no-show jobs to mobsters who needed to justify a legitimate income.
Staluppi was never arrested in any Mafia-related case, and always denied being a made-man.
Since the 1990s, however, Staluppi has become a tremendously wealthy car dealer and builder of megayachts. He also has been a generous contributor to Bradshaw’s political causes.
During the sheriff’s 2008 reelection campaign, Staluppi bundled $6,000 in contributions for Bradshaw. The news promped the sheriff to say he didn’t know a “doggone thing” about Staluppi’s past.
Bradshaw obviously did nothing to server his ties with Staluppi.
Staluppi hosts a major yearly charity fundraiser for PBSO each fall at his private car museum in North Palm Beach, Cars of Dreams. It’s always attended by Bradshaw and benefits for the agency’s Shop with a Cop Christmas program for poor children.
And when the state verbally slapped Bradshaw on the wrist for using his taxpayer-issued in-service credit card to buy lunches for members of the media and political donors, one meal cited by state ethics czars was with Staluppi.
“If the sheriff doesn’t know about John Staluppi, you’d think that he’d have a chief of staff look it up,” Kasman said. “Or maybe he just doesn’t want to know.”
Bradshaw does not comment for stories in Gossip Extra or any other media company he perceives to be against him.