By Ralph Cipriano
As head of the city's Nuisance Task Force, Dominic Verdi wore a bulletproof vest. Whenever, he was leading an after-hours raid on a crack house, nuisance bar, or an unlicensed massage parlor, he was always the first guy through the door.
In thousands of raids over the years, Verdi, the former deputy commissioner of the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections, gained a reputation around town as the go-to guy for law enforcement --state, local or federal -- whenever it came to shutting down illegal operations around the city.
"He put himself in harm's way," then City Councilman James Kenney said admiringly about Verdi in 2000.
But Monday, on the 13th floor of the federal courthouse, it was Verdi who was accused of breaking the law. Federal prosecutors charged that while Verdi was leading late-night rights all over town, he was hiding a conflict of interest -- a part ownership he had purchased in Chappy's Beer, Butts and Bets, a beer distributorship formerly located at 2825 S.17th St. in South Philadelphia.
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