Former Illinois attorney general lawyer accused of Mob ties

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11194612292170.jpg’, ”, ‘Michael A. Ficaro’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11194612522170.jpg’, ”, ‘Robert Cooley’);

Michael A. Ficaro, Chicago trial attorney and former lawyer for the Illinois attorney general between 1981 and 1989, denied he had ties to organized crime in an Aug. 5, 2004, article in the Chicago Sun-Times.

According to the article, retired FBI agent Francis N. Marrocco led a four-year investigation that “revealed Mr. Ficaro’s relationship to members of Chicago’s organized crime network and his efforts to influence certain litigation during his time at the Illinois attorney general’s office.”

Marrocco made the assertion in an affidavit filed last summer concerning the dormant Emerald Casino license in Rosemont.

According to the article, Ficaro said he left the attorney general’s office in 1989 after he “learned he may have inadvertently been picked up on a wire tap.”

Former Chicago Mob attorney-turned federal informant Robert Cooley alleged June 13 that “Mike Ficaro was the Mob’s guy in the [Cook County] state’s attorney’s office, and he was the Mob’s guy in the attorney general’s office.”

An assistant at Ficaro’s law firm said Ficaro worked in the Cook County state’s attorney office between 1972 and 1981.

In the article, Ficaro responded to Cooley’s assertion by calling him “an admitted felon who pillaged and manipulated the system and whose motives are clearly retribution and profit.”

Such attacks are not new to Cooley. However, Cooley’s past testimonies were found credible by courts and have resulted in about 30 convictions of corrupt lawyers, politicians and Mobsters during the 1990s in the Chicago area.

Ficaro did not respond to a request for an interview.

From the June 22-28, 2005, issue

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