New York Daily News

Former G-man to be sued in '92 mob hit
By JOSE MARTINEZ
in Sarasota, Fla.
and WILLIAM SHERMAN
in New York
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Friday, January 6th, 2006


A former FBI agent helped set up the 1992 shotgun murder of a Brooklyn mobster, a federal civil suit to be filed today by the gangster's widow charges, the Daily News has learned.


The agent, Lindley DeVecchio, pulled a surveillance team shortly before the rubout of Nicholas Grancio as a favor to Mafia capo Gregory Scarpa Sr. - DeVecchio's secret informant, the suit contends.
Lindley DeVecchio
Lindley DeVecchio

News of the lawsuit came as The News reported that a Brooklyn grand jury is probing DeVecchio in the mob slaying and other alleged criminal dealings with Scarpa, an infamous Colombo crime family figure who died behind bars in 1994.

DeVecchio, found yesterday at his Florida home in an exclusive gated community, said, "I have nothing to say, I retired 10 years ago and everything that needed to be said is already on the record."

"Anything you want to get, get from my lawyer. There's a lot I would love to say, but I just won't," said the former agent, appearing flustered in a T-shirt and jeans in his doorway.

The slaying of Grancio - a rival of Scarpa - took place at the height of a mob war between factions of the Colombo crime family.

At Scarpa's request, DeVecchio called off surveillance by two NYPD detectives on Jan. 7, 1992, so Scarpa, with two associates, could move in for the drive-by shooting, the suit contends.

The lawsuit will be filed in Brooklyn Federal Court by attorney David Schoen on behalf of widow Maria Grancio. Schoen also filed notice that the FBI and the Justice Department will be also be sued.

Meanwhile, a grand jury convened by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is investigating Grancio's killing and DeVecchio's long, complicated relationship with Scarpa.

One of two NYPD detectives involved in the surveillance, Joseph Simone, now retired, was extensively debriefed yesterday by a prosecutor and investigators from the DA's office, sources said.

Simone has previously testified that he got called off the surveillance duty, calling it "very unusual." He and other law enforcement agents also reported his suspicions that DeVecchio was working for Scarpa.

Simone testified that he got the "call off" from DeVecchio's subordinate at the time, FBI agent Christopher Favo, who was acting on DeVecchio's orders.

Favo was also named as a defendant in the suit, which sites a "corrupt relationship between an informant [Scarpa] and his FBI handler [DeVecchio] as part of a campaign of corruption and concealment."

Favo did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

DeVecchio's attorney, Douglas Grover, has dismissed the DA's investigation as "nonsense," noting DeVecchio has not been prosecuted despite a previous two-year FBI probe into the agent's dealings with Scarpa.

But the DA's office has developed new information on the matter and decided to begin the grand jury probe, sources said.

"Since the murder, DeVecchio, Favo and others lied about the matter and have misled on this subject and other incidents of gross misconduct repeatedly," the Grancio suit says.

"They have taken other steps to conceal the true factors of the Grancio murder and that campaign of lying and coverup continues today."

Police/Prosecutor Misconduct
Truth in Justice