Gross Conduct

February 12th, 2012


 

Fond farewell for contractor going to jail

Updated: Friday, 10 Feb 2012, 10:25 PM EST
Published : Friday, 10 Feb 2012, 10:25 PM EST

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - He's served time before and Niagara Falls contractor John Gross is heading to federal prison for mail fraud and tax evasion. But not before receiving a send-off worthy of a community hero. How does that happen?

Robert Krause of the Niagara Falls Republican Committee said, "We're all here to celebrate."

"What he has done right, not what he has done wrong," added Krause.

Over 200 people turned out at a Lewiston Fire Hall for a cocktail event with John Gross, the Niagara Falls contractor who will soon go back to prison for mail fraud and tax evasion. He had previously done time for a bid rigging scheme which involved bribing a public official.

But friends call him the Robin Hood of Niagara Falls.

Dick Paladino of Laborers Local #91 said, "There's not anybody coming here tonight who can't say thank you to John and that's why they're here. he has done more favors for more people in the last 50 years, never got any recoginition for it, never wanted it."

The tickets were $35 a piece payable to the Niagara Falls Republican Committee which plans to send the leftover proceeds to three of Gross's favorite charities.

"To celebrate his good side and not his dark side and that's what we're doing," said Krause.

Niagara Falls Democratic Committe Chairman, David Hooughton said, "I personally think it's an embarassment to the community and I think it's a detriment to the political and electoral process."

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said, "I thought when someone told me about it it was a joke." 

Mayor Dyster thinks its inappropriate.

"They're honoring somenody who's been sent to prison for being a felon for the third time. I don't think it's appropriate," added Mayor Dyster.

John Gross was just sentenced to 33 months in Federal Prison and tells News 4 he leaves in a couple weeks.

John Gross said, "I'm going to Federal Medical Center and you know I'm kind of tired. We take care of the community, the people take care of us."

He wasn't surprised at the large turnout.

Gross said, "Everybody owes. You owe, I owe and we all help each other and that's what makes a community."

"You gotta look at the total picture. I'm not saying he couldn't be a nice guy, I don't know, but I'd like him to be a non-criminal nice guy," added Houghton.

Copyright WIVB.com

« Back to News


Comments

Please Login or Register to comment.

No Comments Posted
© 2017 Niagara County Democratic Committee. All Rights Reserved. • Buffalo NY Web Design & Buffalo NY SEO by Luminus Media, LLC