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Hudson County Corruption in the Kenny Era – Investigation Of The Hudson County Mosquito Extermination Commission
Contractor Testifies

Hudson County Politics

Dominick T. Rossillo, of Union City, later took the stand. He is the father of Joseph Rossillo. He testified to a series of kickback payments dating back to 1966. Dominick Rossillo cashed more than $2S,000 worth of checks issued by the Benron Construction and Equipment Company, keeping 25 cents on the dollar for himself and remitting the remainder to Ralph J. Grasso, the Mosquito Commission's consulting engineer.

The largest kickback transaction, however, involved a $36,414.00 Mosquito Commision contract, 75% of which found its way back to C. Harry Callari, executive director of the commission. No work was ever done. Dominick Rossillo testified thusly:

Q. Nosy, did there come a time when somebody from the Mosquito Extermination Commission contacted volt and told jolt they had some business for you?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. And who was that, sir?
A. Mr. Ralph J. Grasso.

Q. And was this back in '66?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. And what did lie tell jolt that he wanted you to do'
A. He told me he wanted to see me. I went down to the Hudson County Mosquito Commission building, in the engineer's room, and he had a check he would like me to cash for $36,000 – $414.

Q. Well, let's go back just a minute. In early '66, Mr. Rossillo, did he describe certain work that he wanted you to carry out somewhere else?
A. Yes. He told me they had a job for me, a creek which I believe they call the Institution Ditch on Colt's property in Secaucus. That's west of County Avenue in Secaucus, Secaucus Road.

Q. I take it you did do some work out there?
A. Yes, I did.

Q. And whether that was on public or private property or what portion of either you have no way of knowing?
A. I have no way of knowing. No idea whose property.

Q. All right. Now, did there come a time again around early May of 1966 when you went into the Hudson County Mosquito Extermination office and signed a voucher for some $36,414?
A. Yes.

Q. And is that the voucher that's on the last page o f Exhibit C-35? Yes, I think you will see it's the last page.
A. Yes, this is the last page.

Q. All right, fine. Now, would you read for us the description of the work on that voucher?
A. "Realignment of trenches for drainage through properties " –

Q. Go more slowly, Mr. Rossillo. Start again.
A. Realignment of trenches for drainage through properties in North Bergen meadows between Tonnelle Avenue, Secaucus Road and Pennsylvania High Line."

Q. Was that anywhere near where you were doing your work?
A. No, sir, it was not.

Q. Did you ever do the work described on that voucher?
A. No, sir, I didn't.

Q. All right. Some time later, more specifically around May the 18th, 1966, did you, D. T. Rossillo, get a check for $36.414.00 issued by the Mosquito Commission?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. Will you tell us what you did with the check and what you did with the proceeds?
A. Well, Ralph, Mr. Ralph J. Grasso, Mr. Ben Callari and myself had gone to the Hudson County National Bank in Jersey City. Went to the officer of the bank, showed him the check. He okayed it. Mr. Ralph Grasso and myself and Ben Callari went downstairs in a room, a conference room.

Q. A conference room in the bank?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. Fine, sir. Go ahead.
A. We counted out the $36,000 there and returned back to the Mosquito Commission building.

Q. All three of you?
A. All three of us.

Q. What did you do then?
A. Mr. Ralph Grasso went in his room. Mr. Ben Callari and myself went back into the conference room in the Hudson County Mosquito Commission, took out the money, counted it out. I got 25% of it, 75% he kept.

Q. Was C. Harry Callari there?
A. Yes, sir, Mr. Callari.

Q. So you and Ben went in and Saw C. Harry and counted out the money?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. And he kept 75%?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. Incidentally, had you been told that by Mr. Grasso, when you signed the voucher, that that was the arrangement?
A. Yes, sir.

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