After the unexpected death of Francesco “Frank” Cali, the Gambino crime family once again had a leadership void to fill.
It’s still unclear as to exactly what rank Cali officially held in the New York Mafia families administration but he was clearly a leading figure that would be hard to replace. The Gambino’s had maintained a stable hierarchy for the last several years backed by the families Sicilian “Zip” faction which had led to some new found prosperity. There has been plenty of speculation as to what the new Gambino family hierarchy would look like and it seems that the Mafia family has already made its move. According to a Gangland News report, longtime Gambino family captain Michael Paradiso is now part of the families new leadership group alongside Lorenzo Mannino and Domenico “Italian Dom” Cefalu.
“Michael (Mikey Boy) Paradiso”
The 79-year-old Paradiso has been a member of the organized crime family since the 1960s. The Brooklyn and Queens-based mobster made his way through the ranks of the crime family starting out in the families Bergin crew. When John Gotti took control of the family in the mid-1980s he promoted Paradiso to captain. Paradiso is a well respected old school tough guy who has earned his stripes although his promotion comes as a bit of a surprise. He’s not part of the families Sicilian faction and is known to be somewhat of a rambunctious fellow the exact opposite of the low key approach taken by both Cefalu and Mannino.
Paradiso also known on the streets as “Mikey Boy” has had his share of ups and downs during his lengthy career in the Mafia. Back in 1986, he tasked members of his crew to whack out Lucchese family leader Anthony Casso. Both Paradise and fellow mobster and Gotti confidant Angelo Ruggerio were at odds with Casso after he helped orchestrate the murder of Gambino underboss Frank DeCicco. The hit was meant to take out Gotti in retaliation for his unsanctioned move against former boss Paul Castellano. But the hit didn’t go as planned and Casso would eventually find out who ordered it and pushed for Gotti to have Paradiso whacked.
Gotti would eventually put out the order and Paradiso was a marked man. He was awaiting trial for drug charges when the feds caught wind of the plot to kill him and they had his bail revoked in an effort to protect him. He was convicted and sent to prison which was sort of a lucky break because by the time he got out in the late 1990s the Gotti era had come to an end the Dapper Don was behind bars serving a life sentence and he was in the clear. The feds weren’t quite done with him though and put him back behind bars for 50 months for racketeering. He was released from prison back in May of 2011.
According to the feds Dom Cefalu took over as the Cosa Nostra families acting boss back in 2011 and is still in control of the family. In recent court filings, the feds described Mannino as a powerful captain within the Gambino family but its believed he has since taken on a more prominent role. Some sources believe that Cefalu has taken a step back in the last few years and that Mannino may now be calling the shots or at least controlling the families day to day operations even though Dom still carries the stripes officially. It would seem that Michael Paradiso would now be functioning as the families new consigliere.