Ex-Bonanno associate Joseph (Giusseppe) Gambina testified Tuesday that the photo was taken at a fundraiser for "Senator Amato" in late 1991 at mobbed-up Giannini's restaurant in Maspeth. D'Amato is flanked by Gambina along with Gambino mobster Ralph Sciulla. Both gangsters are flashing wide smiles.
The photo may be cursed. Within a year "Sciulla's corpse was found in the trunk of a Mercedes in Long Island and Giannini's owner Sebastian (Sammy) DeFalco was gunned down in a separate gangland hit by Bonanno mobsters."
This is not D'Amato's first brush with mobsters as reported by Mitchel Maddux for the New York Post:
In the 1980s, he took the stand as a character witness for a Luchese family associate. On another occasion, D'Amato rallied unsuccessfully to persuade then-federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani to reduce charges against Genovese mobster Mario Gigante. D'Amato also intervened on behalf of Paul Castellano, who at the time was the boss of the Gambino crime family. In the past, D'Amato characterized these controversies as nothing more than efforts to support constituents.
No doubt the good senator would have done the same for anyone.