Judge OKs suits vs. crooked feds
By J.M. Lawrence
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Justice Department lost a major round yesterday in a battle to bury
lawsuits against the FBI filed on behalf of four Boston men framed for
a 1965 mob murder.
U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner rejected the government's
argument that there were no laws allowing the men to sue at the time
they went to prison in the murder of Edward ``Teddy'' Deegan. Congress
didn't vote to waive immunity to such claims until 1974.
Gertner ruled the government cover-up continued for decades until 2000
when a Justice Department task force uncovered secret FBI memos showing
Peter J. Limone, Joseph Salvati, Louis Greco and Edward Tameleo had
been wrongly convicted based on perjured testimony.
In a 75-page ruling, the judge said former FBI agents even ``channeled
false information to the office of the Governor'' to derail a
commutation for Limone in 1983 and convinced the Parole Board in 1986
to rescind its vote to give Salvati a commutation hearing.
Limone spent 33 years in prison while Salvati spent 30 years behind
bars. Greco, who was in Miami at the time of the murder, died in prison
in 1995. Tameleo died behind bars in 1985. Limone and Tameleo were top
men in New England godfather Raymond L.S. Patriarca's Mafia.
``In short, the state prosecution of Limone, Greco, Salvati and Tameleo
was procured by the FBI and nurtured by both federal agents and state
officers who knew that the charges were bogus,'' the judge said in a
The judge said she will hear no further arguments to dismiss the cases
seeking total damages of more than $500 million. No trial date is set.