"It’s not every day that a Congressional candidate goes to bat for the mafia, but that is exactly what Shady Dom Recchia has done," NRCC Spokesman Ian Prior said in the email.
Recchia, who is running against Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) next year, wrote the letter on behalf of Angelo Spata. Federal prosecutors named Spata as a Colombo crime family associate in a racketeering indictment filed in early 2011 that charged him with being involved in a money laundering conspiracy and illegal gambling operation. According to the Daily News Spata pleaded guilty to those charges and faces up to 21 months in prison. He was also arrested last month for allegedly shoplifting from a Home Depot.
Recchia's letter, which was dated Aug. 23, urged the judge to consider Spata's "involvement in recovery efforts" following Hurricane Sandy when making decisions about his sentencing. Two other politicians, Assemblyman Peter Abbate and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, also submitted letters on Spata's behalf. Recchia did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TPM.