Checker Barred from Waterfront for Association with Organized Crime Figure and Career Offender
January 30, 2018
Today, the Waterfront Commission unanimously ordered the removal of Staten Island resident, Peter Boragi, 53, from the waterfront. The Commission revoked his registration as a checker – a longshoreman who engages in the checking of waterborne freight - following a hearing and recommendation by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ found that Boragi violated the Waterfront Commission Act by associating with Louis Romeo, a career offender identified by law enforcement as an associate of the Colombo crime family.
In his report, the ALJ found that “Romeo is an admitted loan shark and associate of organized crime” who was convicted in a Colombo crime family bribery scheme involving debris removal from the World Trade Center site. Boragi associated with Romeo during the time period when he was a loan shark and associate of the Colombo crime family. While Romeo awaited sentencing in connection with the bribery scheme, Boragi submitted a character letter to the judge to seek leniency. Boragi later visited Romeo in prison. Boragi remained in contact with Romeo after his release from prison.
The ALJ further noted that Boragi has a sensitive position on the waterfront that is vulnerable to corruption. He has a high-paying job (collecting over $350,000 in a given year) that allows him to be paid for hours, including overtime, when he is not at the pier. The ALJ found that Boragi had previously lied on two applications about his history of drug use, he had been barred from the waterfront for about five years for failing to meet minimum work and work availability requirements, and had a gambling operation on the pier where he collected tens of thousands of dollars in cash from longshoremen. The ALJ noted that “a gambling operator’s association with Romeo, a loan shark and Colombo associate, creates an unacceptable perception or risk of corruption.”
The Waterfront Commission adopted the ALJ’s findings that Boragi lacks good character and integrity and associated with a career offender identified by law enforcement as an associate of an organized crime group. The Commission found that Boragi’s association with Romeo creates a reasonable belief that his continued registration as a checker would be inimical to the policies of the Waterfront Commission Act. Accordingly, the Waterfront Commission ordered the immediate revocation of his registration as a checker.
The revocation proceeding against Boragi was the product of an investigation by the Waterfront Commission with the assistance of the New York City Business Integrity Commission.