Man sues paper over mistaken mob reference
CHICAGO – Two men claim photographs in the Chicago Tribune misidentified them as high-ranking mobsters, prompting one of the men Wednesday to sue the newspaper.
Retired businessman Frank Calabrese is suing the Tribune Co. for more than $1 million in damages, claiming defamation.
His picture ran Tuesday as part of a package about the indictment of several mobsters – including one named Frank Calabrese Sr. – on charges of plotting at least 18 murders.
“I have voicemails from people calling me who were my customers asking me what’s happening. Is that you?” Calabrese, 76, was quoted as saying in the Tribune’s Wednesday editions.
Although the Tribune apologized to Calabrese and acknowledged its mistake in an article on the front page of its Metro section, Calabrese’s son, Louis, said his father was still upset.
“People were questioning his reputation,” Louis Calabrese told the Associated Press.
The story – accompanied by a new photograph – said the newspaper mistakenly used an archive photograph of Frank Calabrese, who founded a small printing company, accepting an “Excellence in Manufacturing” award in 1988.
“The newspaper erroneously used that photograph in its graphic describing Tuesday’s mob indictment,” the article said.
Tribune spokeswoman Patty Wetli said it was “unfortunate that Mr. Calabrese has chosen to take this step after we expressed our regret and did all we could to correct the error.”
Meanwhile, the Tribune also is investigating the accuracy of a photograph that ran in Wednesday’s editions, Wetli said.
That photograph, which the newspaper said in another story was taken by a college student, identified a man as Joseph “The Clown” Lombardo, a 76-year-old reputed mob boss who is on the lam after being indicted Monday along with Frank Calabrese Sr.
But a man identified as Stanley Swieton told Chicago reporters he was the person in the picture. A telephone listing for Swieton could not be found.
Wetli declined to confirm that accusation.
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