NEW YORK (Apr. 28)
A spokesman for Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. defended today the university’s approval of Antonio Magliocco, a reputed New York mobster, for a university award. The spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that approval of a “Distinguished Service Award” for Magliocco was made before university officials knew about “allegations” in “recent stories in the press” about Magliocco’s background.
Magliocco and his son, John, were lauded for their support of the university at a dinner here Tuesday night attended by 200 friends and colleagues from the Wine and Spirits Institute, which chose Magliocco for the award. More than $100,000 was raised for a Brandeis University scholarship fund in their name. The Magliocco father and son are the top officers of a major New York liquor distributor.
Antonio Magliocco reportedly appears on the Justice Department 1964 and 1970 lists of organized crime figures and is identified in New York City Police Department files as a member of the Colombo family.
The formal university statement on the controversy sparked by the selection of Magliocco said that if university officials had known about the “allegations” before they approved the selection, they “of course would have checked their validity and, based on an evaluation of the facts, would have acted accordingly.”
In giving the text of the statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the spokesman declined to comment on whether that sentence meant that the university would have declined to go ahead with the award to the Maglioccos if the “allegations” had been confirmed by such a check of their validity.
CITES BASIS FOR THE AWARD
The statement asserted that the award was made on the basis of Magliocco’s “communal and philanthropic record, which is excellent.” The statement added that in previous years, “many organizations have given public recognition to Mr. Magliocco for his exemplary efforts,” adding that “he has been honored by Israel Bonds, the NAACP, United Jewish Appeal, the Anti-Defamation League, and he serves on the Cardinal’s Committee on Catholic Charities in New York.”
Israel Nash, the university’s development officer in New York, said yesterday that Magliocco had been a constant contributor and active supporter of the university since 1951. Nash also was quoted in the press as saying that the “rumors” about Magliocco’s background were “incredible.” But when he was asked today by the JTA to confirm various aspects of the award and the controversy, he said he had been instructed by university officials to refer all questions to the university’s office in Waltham.