Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani officially buried the hatchet with convicted gangster Michael Franzese in a chummy, nostalgia-laden conversation on a radio show hosted by a mutual friend.
Before Trump and 9/11, Giuliani was the pugnacious US Attorney in Manhattan and made his bones putting New York City’s most notorious mobsters in jail.
His office indicted Franzese for racketeering in 1984, but the Colombo crime family gangster beat the rap. Later he pled guilty to a different racketeering case in Brooklyn federal court, and was sentenced to 10 years and ordered to pay a $15 million fine. He was released after eight years.
Giuliani allegedly promised to put him away for 100 years (though Rudy doesn’t specifically remember saying it). The mobster, once known as the “Yuppie Don,” said his circle actively discussed killing Giuliani during the height of his gangland crackdowns.
But when they met last week on Joe Pagliarulo’s 1200 WOAI radio show, the two rivals spent almost an hour reminiscing about the bad old days, their mutual admiration, and how mob kingpin Joseph Bonanno’s arrogant 1983 autobiography helped Rudy sink organized crime in New York.
“In it he did a complete online of when the [ruling Mafia] Commission began in the 20s and 30s and then he did a line of succession that broke off 12 years earlier,” Giuliani said. “The minute I saw that I said, ‘Thank you Joe. You just gave me half of a RICO case. You proved to me that you are in the business of crime.’”
Franzese confirmed the book had not been well-received at the time and that Bonanno was supposed to have been killed.
“I do like him,” Giuliani, 76, said of Franzese, 69. “And I think he has got a lot to offer. The people that can really create rehabilitation are people who have been through it.”
Giuliani told The Post the prosecutions were nothing personal.
“It’s been a long long time that he’s had an unblemished record,” said the ex-fed. “So I am prepared to admire that and it does prove what I do believe, which is that people can fix themselves.”
The former capo claims he left the mob and is now a born-again Christian. He works as a motivational speaker and lives in Orange County, California.
Franzese said he was impressed with how Rudy cleaned up his hometown as mayor.
“I grew up with Times Square being the porno center of the country. I couldn’t believe how he cleaned it up and I said, ‘Man, this guy is doing a great job as mayor,’” Franzese told The Post. “I have gained a lot of respect for Rudy, He’s smart and I believe he’s honest. I hold no resentment toward him for the past.”
Politics also brought them together. Franzese said he identifies as a conservative and supported Trump and the work Giuliani had done for President Trump. He added that he was disturbed by how the former mayor had been targeted by the Biden administration — citing the recent raid of Rudy’s Manhattan apartment.
It’s “shameful and dangerous, especially in light of their failure to thoroughly investigate Hunter Biden,” Franzese said. “If that were my laptop with that evidence, I would already be in jail.”