Dave Friedland and Tony Pro’s Retainer

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Anthony Provenzano -- Local 560 Teamsters Boss -- is believed to have been responsible for the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

Teamsters Local 560 Boss Anthony Provenzano (Tony Pro) is believed to have been responsible for the disappearance and presumed murder of Jimmy Hoffa.

In the 60s (I simply can not remember when.), I received a call from Tony Pro. He said “Kid, come over to the office right away. I have someone here I need you to talk to.”

I left my law office in Jersey City and drove to the Local 560 office in Union City. When I entered Tony Pro’s office, he was standing next to a giant man with a huge red beefy face. The guy looked like he weighed 350 pounds or more. It was KO Konigsberg. I had heard of him but never met him.

Tony said “Kid, I need you to do a favor for Mr. Konigsberg here.” I asked “What’s that Tony?” He said “You are suing some of his people, and I want you to drop the suit.”

I did not know what he was talking about, but I called one of the layers in my office and found out that we had two clients who came in and retained us to start assault and battery complaints against some of KO’s “enforcers” who had beat them up when they failed to repay a loansharking debt.

I thought about this and went back into Tony’s office. He was now sitting behind his desk with Konigsberg sprawled out on a big blue couch. I looked Tony in the eye and told him what I learned and I said “Tony, what you want me to do is to double-cross my own clients?” He said “No, Kid, I just want you to do Mr. Konigsberg this favor.”

I said “Tony if I did that, would you ever be able to trust me again?” and I turned and walked out of his office before anyone could reply.

That afternoon my father, who was my law partner, got a call from Tony. Tony said “Jake, your kid has got some gallunes! I never saw anything like it. I want him as my personal lawyer. I am going to put him on my payroll for $25,000 a year. He is my lawyer!”

That money was a lot in those days, but Tony told the story all over the place. Even Jimmy Hoffa mentioned it to me — at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami when he introduced me to and told the same story to Meyer Lansky. (We then all played gin. Lansky was a genius at gin. Remembered every card. No one could beat him. He had a cabana at the Eden Roc.)

David Friedland

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About Anthony Olszewski

Anthony Olszewski has written on a wide variety of topics: cage birds, tropical fish, popular culture, the poetry of Amiri Baraka and a chapter on genetics for a veterinary text book, as a small sample. He worked as an editor at a magazine produced by TFH, the world's largest publisher of pet books. Anthony Olszewski is the author of a booklet on Hudson County history, Hudson County Facts, and a book of short stories, Second Thief, Best Thief, that are sold on Amazon. Anthony Olszewski established PETCRAFT.com in 1996. A pioneer on the Web, the Site continues to provide unique information on a range of companion animals, focusing on birds and fish. As a community service, he operates Jersey City Free Books. Anthony Olszewski was born in Jersey City, NJ (Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital, 1956) and is a member of Mensa.
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