Sunday, 26 Apr 2015 10:56 PM
By Greg McDonald
Philip Gigante, grandson of Genovese crime-family godfather Vincent "The Chin" Gigante is the new mayor of Airmont, New York, and not all the townsfolk are happy about it, the New York Post reports.
"It’s frightening for not just me but all village residents aware of his background," one businessman told the Post, but said he didn't want his name used, fearing "retribution."
"If you were a resident living a couple of blocks from Village Hall, would you want to be named?" the man told the paper. "I’m not sure what he’s capable of, considering his family’s background."
But Gigante says residents have nothing to fear and that his concerns lie only with the well-being of Airmont. The 41-year-old is a real estate lawyer and also owns a trucking business with his father Salvatore.
The business is legitimate and was built from the ground up by his parents, Gigante said.
"People are free to believe what they wish. My actions and accomplishments should speak for themselves," the Republican mayor said.
In the March 18 election, Gigante beat Planning Board member Thomas Gulla and Trustee Ralph Bracco. Gigante received 904 votes, to Gulla's 689 and Bracco's 261.
The Rockland County Times reported on Gigante's family background just days before the election, noting that Vincent Gigante did not induct his children into the crime family, but set them up in legitimate businesses.
Neither of Gigante's opponents made an issue of his infamous grandfather during the race.
"I wouldn’t do that to another candidate," Gulla said. "Whatever his grandfather did for a living is not a reflection on him."
Bracco concurred, saying, "I didn’t want to get in using negatives."
Vincent Gigante ordered a hit on Gambino crime boss John Gotti in 1986 that failed. After Gotti was sent to prison, Gigante became the most powerful mobster in the United States.
He was also known for his act of pretending to insane. He earned the nickname "The Oddfather" for walking the streets near his mother's apartment in a bathrobe, pajamas and slippers while muttering to himself in an effort to conceal his leadership role in the crime family.
He eventually was convicted of running rackets and conspiring to kill Gotti and anther mobster. He died in federal prison in 2005.