Thursday, July 2, 2020

Where's Big Frank? 'Crumb-Bum' Kenney Won't Say

By Ralph Cipriano

Since Mayor Jim Kenney ordered the toppling of the 9-foot-tall Frank Rizzo statue under cover of darkness on June 3rd, city officials have refused to divulge the condition or whereabouts of the 2,000 pound bronze monument to the Big Bambino.

So George Bochetto, a lawyer for the committee that commissioned the statue, filed an 11-page complaint in Common Pleas Court yesterday seeking an injunction to protect Big Frank against any further harm from an increasingly vindictive mayor and the city.

Bochetto went to court after a passerby snapped a photo of the still-bound statue that had been abandoned and "left in the back of an open flatbed truck," Bochetto wrote.

In his complaint, Bochetto said that his client, the Frank Rizzo Monument Committee, "is entitled to injunctive relief" to prevent Kenney and the city "from intentionally damaging or destroying the statue" through further abuse or neglect.

In an interview, Bochetto said the city has gone back on an agreement calling for due process to decide the fate of the statue that was previously agreed to in front of Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick. That's why in the complaint filed yesterday, Bochetto is seeking monetary damages from the city.

"It's absolute lawlessness by the city and complete intransigence to the rights of the citizenry, and we're not going to let them get away with it," Bochetto said.

"On June 3, 2020, the statue was removed under cover of night, with no [due] process or input from the public or approval from the Philadelphia Art Commission," as required by the city's charter, Bochetto wrote.

Mayor Kenney was able to skirt due process by declaring an emergency, claiming that the statue posed an imminent threat to the "public health, safety and welfare." The emergency declaration cleared the way for the statue to be taken down by bumbling city workers at 2 a.m. But before the statue was toppled, and damaged in the process, police were ordered to stand down so that vandals could desecrate Big Frank one more time.

Yep, in the dead of night, the city succumbed to mob rule, more specifically, a mob led by our progressive mayor.

But according to the city charter, there should have been due process before the statue was moved.

"The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter specifically requires the Art Commission to approve the removal, relocation, or alteration of any existing work of art in the possession of the city," Bochetto wrote. "Nevertheless, the Rizzo statue was removed and possibly damaged or destroyed in the process."

In response to a letter from Bochetto inquiring about the "statue's condition and whereabouts, the city sent a vague letter" that "failed to provide . . . any substantive information about the statue," Bochetto wrote.

Then Bochetto received a photo from a passerby that showed Big Frank lying in the back of a truck.

Bochetto asked the judge to enjoin the city "from intentionally damaging or destroying the statue and compel the city and Mayor Kenney to comply with the agreement" previously agreed to in court that would allow the committee that commissioned the statue to repossess it.

The previous court agreement stated that the city would not "intentionally damage, alter, modify or change" the statue without prior written notice.

"The Rizzo statue has been removed from public display and is now in an unknown location," Bochetto wrote. "The statue's immediate destruction is not necessary to protect the health, safety or welfare of the public . . . The city must therefore allow" the statue committee "a reasonable opportunity to recover the work."

In response to his inquiries about the statue, Bochetto wrote, the city isn't telling him anything about the whereabouts of the statue, or its condition. The city also hasn't given Bochetto "any assurances that the statue wold not be destroyed."

"The statue is a unique piece of art with immense sentimental value that cannot be properly compensated by money damages," Bochetto wrote. "The statute may be damaged or destroyed if the city is not enjoined," Bochetto wrote, and the statue may suffer "significant and irreversible harm due to the city's neglect."

In response, Mike Dunn, a Kenney spokesman, gave an incendiary statement to The Philadelphia Inquirer that should make a fine exhibit in court if Bochetto needs to prove animus on the part of the Kenney administration.

About the plaintiffs who filed the complaint, Dunn said, "They are bitter and disgruntled because we took it [the statue] down and the statue will never stand on city property again," a statement that may prejudice the supposedly independent review that the Art Commission was supposed to undertake before deciding the ultimate fate of Big Frank.

"This 'emergency' lawsuit is a frivolous cry for public attention," Dunn added. "The city has more pressing things to worry about -- like dismantling the structural racism that the statue stood for."

Nice virtue signaling Mike. Now how about having the Kenney administration follow the law rather than mob rule?

Yesterday, the city responded to Bochetto's complaint by having the legal dispute moved to federal court. Bochetto suggested the city made the move because they were fearful of what Judge Patrick might do. As of Thursday morning, Bochetto was still waiting for an emergency hearing to be scheduled on his complaint.

One of the current defenders of the Rizzo statue is former state Senator Vince Fumo, who during his political career was no fan of Rizzo's, while serving as Kenney's mentor.

But when Kenney toppled the Rizzo statue in the dead of night, Fumo went on Facebook to blast his former protege as a "liar, hypocrite and pussy." That's because according to Fumo, Kenney had originally been an advocate for building the monument to Rizzo.

Further proof of Kenney's hypocrisy has recently surfaced in the form of a proposed City Council bill from May 9, 1996. It turns out that Kenney was one of nine original cosponsors of a bill to rename the Municipal Service Building as the "Frank L. Rizzo Municipal Services Building."

The proposed bill, which was to "take effect immediately," was subsequently withdrawn because the Rizzo family decided that renaming the MSB in Rizzo's honor, was overkill. And that the statue, which had just been commissioned, was enough of a tribute.

But now the former bill stands as a monument to Kenney's hypocrisy.

There's also a popular T-shirt making the rounds in South Philly that depicts the Rizzo statue saying, "YO KENNEY, YOU'RE A REAL CRUMB BUM."

The "crumb bum" quote was lifted from an immortal 1980 video of when Rizzo confronted TV reporter Stan Bohrman who was stalking Hizzoner outside his home.

Hopefully, on the back of that T-shirt, there's some more space to run a few more apropos Rizzo quotes from that same interview, such as:

-- "You're less than a man."

-- "You're a coward, you're a sneak."

-- And finally: "You are a lush. I can tell by looking at you. I was a cop all my life and I know a lush when I see one and you're a lush."


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The Rizzo "Crumb Bum" T-Shirt/tribute to Jim Kenney can be obtained by emailing or reaching out to Kevin R. Consolo on Facebook.

    This has been a paid political announcement.

  3. The Episode of the Confrontation between Rizzo the Man and Bohrman the Pussy could only be improved by inserting Kenney in place of the "lush TV Anchor."

    That Episode is a TV Classic which rivals any confrontation between a Public Figure and their Adversary. Bohrman came very close to justifiably having his Ass kicked.

    Big Frank was a Larger Than Life South Philly Gangster with a Badge, who even after migrating to the swank Chestnut Hill Mansion where he lived in retirement, and when surrounded by his Bodyguards who were dedicated to protecting him, he basked in his Glory. It is doubtful that Kenney will ever be afforded similar Respect and Protection by the Rank and File and at some point he will go down in a pool of piss where he belongs along with his Radically Queer Outlaw Poseur Police Commissioner.


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