RHA property linked to Mob hit man

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-111643601911065.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jeff Havens’, ‘Reputed mob hit man Frank G. Saladino once owned this house at 320 Kenilworth Drive, which was purchased by the Rockford Housing Authority in 1995 fom a blind trust.’);

Public housing officials at the Rockford Housing Authority (RHA) purchased a single-family home in 1995 for $71,500 that was once owned by reputed Mob hit man Frank G. “Gumba” Saladino, who was found dead last month in a rural Kane County hotel room.

The RHA-owned home, located at 320 Kenilworth Drive in Rockford, was purchased in February 1995 from AMCORE trust fund 91-11158. The blind trust was formed about two weeks after Saladino inherited the property from his mother in February 1991.

Trust funds are frequently used by land owners who want to conceal their identity and limit liability risks.

Longtime RHA Attorney Thomas O. Meyer said the home was one of approximately 50 properties the RHA purchased in the early to mid-1990s that were scattered throughout the city. A complete list of the properties was not available at time of publication.

Meyer explained a protocol was followed during the property acquisitions that is delineated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. He added the properties may have been acquired with the assistance of a purchasing agent or real estate firm. However, Meyer wasn’t certain who, if anyone, mediated the property acquisitions.

According to Meyer, the protocol for purchasing scattered-site housing calls for units that meet specifications for cost, location and protection from lead-based paint.

“We had a difficult time getting 50 units,” Meyer said.

Whether RHA purchased other properties from blind trusts was also not known at time of publication.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announced a 41-page murder and racketeering indictment April 25 that named Saladino and 13 other Chicago Mafia members and associates as participants in a decades-long criminal syndicate (see April 27 article “Feds indict Mob hit man from Rockford”).

The Rock River Times learned of the RHA property transactions after examining Saladino and Salvatore “Sam” Galluzzo’s land records from the 1990s concerning development along East State Street. Like Saladino, Galluzzo was also identified as being a Mob member in a March 4, 1984, Rockford Register Star article.

City of Rockford officials contributed $75,000 in 1994 to develop 40 acres once owned by Galluzzo and his brother, Natale Galluzzo, located on the northeast corner of East State Street and Perryville Road. Five acres of the original parcel were later owned by Saladino and Salvatore Galluzzo in their business World Wide General Contracting, Inc.

Rockford officials also bought property from Natale Galluzzo in August 1983, after he was accused in 1982 of setting fire to the building on the property. However, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Dan Doyle dropped the arson charges “with intent to defraud an insurer” on June 24, 1983.

Doyle is currently a temporary judge hearing felony cases to help decrease the Winnebago County Jail overcrowding.

From the May 18-24, 2005, issue

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