Proprietor Of Vena’s HQ Has Name Hit Press, Chicago Mob Capo’s Associate Hoping To Avoid Grand Ave. RICO

Westside Chicago wiseguy Robert (Bobby D) Dominic was in the news this past week for questions regarding possible political favoritism related to a piece of property he owns and/or operates on Grand Avenue, the epicenter of mafia activity on the Westside of the Windy City. He was mentioned prominently in a column published by the Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper Saturday. The 61-year old reputed mobster and close friend to the Outfit’s notorious Westside crew chief Albert (Albie the Falcon) Vena is hoping that his name doesn’t pop back up in the Chitown media in the coming weeks or months when and if Vena, 67, and at least portions of his Grand Avenue racket regime are finally indicted on federal RICO charges, as many in Illinois law enforcement predict will happen prior to the end of this year.

Vena is a vicious presence in the Windy City underworld, a suspect in numerous homicides and a person referred to by the local media as the most feared and dangerous man in Chicago today. Besides Vena, often dubbed just “The Little Guy” or “The Tiny Terror” by those on the street for his small stature, Dominic has been linked to Chicago mob acting boss Salvatore (Solly D) DeLaurentis and his alleged consigliere Marco (The Mover) D’Amico, among other high-ranking Outfit brass, in FBI surveillance logs in the past as well.

Exclusive Gangster Report sources say Dominic is being “looked at” in the ongoing federal investigation into Vena’s affairs, but his status as a potential future co-defendant alongside Albie the Falcon is unknown. Dominic sports more than a dozen prior arrests on his record and a firm reputation as a mid-level Outfit figure dating back to the 1970 and 80s. His only two convictions though are simple misdemeanors for theft and obscenity.

Bobby D’s direct ties to Vena are pretty undeniable. Depending on who you ask, he either owns or helps run the three-floor building at 725 and 723 W. Grand Avenue known as the Acacia Hotel and home to Vena’s two headquarters, the timelessly trendy La Scarola Italian Restaurant and the adjoining Richard’s Bar next door. La Scarola and Richard’s Bar are located on the bottom floor of the Acacia Hotel, while the top two floors are used for low-income apartment rental. Per sources in Illinois law enforcement, Chicago mob busters suspect Vena holds mob meetings in the upper floors of the Acacia, containing 45 rental units.

The classically-decorated, cozy La Scarola serves authentic cuisine and has dually served as the community clubhouse and chow hall for the Outfit’s infamously-lethal Westside crew. Before Vena was holding court at La Scarola’s “Table No. 1,” his predecessor as the Godfather of Grand Avenue, Joseph (Joey the Clown) Lombardo, the Chicago mafia’s consigliere from 1992 up until 2006 when he was thrown behind bars for his role in the epic Operation Family Secrets case, which dealt a blow to the syndicate’s power structure with a string of convictions and solved a slew of cold-case murders.

The Acacia Hotel property once belonged to former north-suburban gambling boss Michael (Mike the Jew) Posner, per sources. Today, Posner, 73, is a Caribbean casino mogul and alleged to oversee the Outfit’s off-shore gaming interests. Back in the day, however, according to Chicago Crime Commission documents, a young Bobby D acted as a driver and bodyguard for Posner and Posner filled the role of a mob mentor of sorts for Dominic in the 1980s.

La Scarola & Richard's Bar on the first floor of Chicago's Acacia Hotel

La Scarola & Richard’s Bar on the first floor of Chicago’s Acacia Hotel

Dominic and the Acacia Hotel were referenced in a newspaper article that appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times over the weekend. Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown openly questioned Twelfth-Ward Alderman George Cardenas from the city’s Southside decision to try to make SRO’s (single-room occupancy buildings) exempt from regular city ordinances in terms of landlord-tenant rights. Brown eluded to the suspicious timing of Cardenas’ quest to reform SRO policy, being that Dominic is in the middle of a pair of class-action lawsuits filed by both current and former tenants of the Acacia Hotel, which qualifies as an SRO with its’ $100 per week fee to reside there, and would be extremely favorable to Bobby D’s legal interests if the Cardenas-supported reform is enacted. Cardenas denies even knowing Dominic.

According to Bobby D himself, the lawsuits filed against him are misguided because he doesn’t own the property himself and just aids in running it with its’ real owners, his sister, Susan Dominic, who owns Richard’s Bar and his childhood friend, Tom Harris, who owns the building. He says he collects rent and helps with the overall maintenance and upkeep, but that’s it. Plaintiffs in the lawsuits claim he told them he was the building’s owner and a complaint report written a Chicago Police patrolmen a couple years back named Dominic as the owner of the property, too.

Before Harris and the Dominics’ took control of the building at 725 W. Grand Avenue it was owned, at least on paper, by Bobby D’s gangland teacher, Mike the Jew’s wife. Posner is a convicted racketeer and was not only known as a top-rate handicapper and bookie in his days in the Windy City, but a strip-club and prostitution-ring maven stationed out of suburban Lake County (Cicero-crew territory), where he owned the Roman House, a topless bar and hooker den throughout the mid-to-late 1970s into the early-to-mid 1980s when it was ordered shuttered by authorities upon his racketeering bust in 1985 and subsequent prison stint.

FBI records from that era pegged Posner a close associate of then-Chicago mob don Joe Ferriola, who died of cancer in March of 1989. Posner’s dad, Bernard (Pippi Green) Posner, was one of Ferriola’s most prolific bookies back when he was capo of the Outfit’s Cicero crew.

Mike Posner, reportedly Bobby Dominic's mentor in the Chicago Outfit

Michael (Mike the Jew) Posner, reportedly Bobby Dominic’s mentor in the Chicago Outfit, leaving court

Police records related to Dominic name him as a one-time lieutenant in the Outfit’s lucrative pornography racket, a series of extortion scams and adult book-store, peep-show and strip-club ownerships, operating predominantly on the city’s North and West sides. He was known to own a number of adult book stores in the 1980s and 1990s and employed Chicago active cops as security at his string of outlets – two of those coppers were accused of stealing 1 million dollars from a drug dealer in the mid 1990s, some of which was alleged to have landed in Dominic’s pocket (nobody was ever charged in the alleged incident).

State police documents show informants telling authorities that Bobby D started out on the lower rungs of the Outfit latter, collecting shakedown money from porn purveyors in the 1970s on behalf of both Joey Lombardo and deceased Northside crew chief Vincent (Innocent Vince) Solano. In the years after Solano died in 1992, the Northside crew, the Outfit regime where Dominic and Albie Vena got their starts, was merged with Lombardo’s Westside crew, which Vena now leads.

Court filings attached to Dominic’s 15 collars connect him via FBI surveillance records to Solly DeLaurentis, promoted to acting boss of the Chicago mafia around three years ago, Marco D’Amico, the syndicate’s consigliere on-and-off for the past decade, D’Amico’s longtime right-hand man Anthony (Tony D) Dote and Robert (Bobby the Truck Driver) Abbinanti, a main conduit between semi-retired Illinois Godfather John (Johnny No Nose) DiFronzo, and the Outfit’s rank-and-file. One particular court record notes Dominic siding with D’Amico in a spat between Marco the Mover (as in “Mover & Shaker”) and fellow Chicago mob player John (Pudgy) Matassa, Jr. that emerged in the summer of 1988 regarding D’Amico being upset that Matassa, Jr. received his “button” before he did.

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