Aurelio Thomas A In 1949 Aurelio, who had been an assistant prosecutor and judge in New York City, was about to be elected to a seat on the Supreme Court for the State of New York as the nominee of both the Democratic and the Republican parties.
Manhattan District Attorney Frank S. Hogan placed a tap on Frank Costello telephone. A short time later, on the night of August 23, 1949 the Democratic Party nominated Aurelio for Justice of the Supreme Court. At 8:35 the following morning, Aurelio telephoned Costello and the flowing conversation was picked up by Hogan’s tap.
Aurelio "Good morning, Francesco. How are you, and thanks for everything."
Costello "Congratulations. It went over perfect. When I tell you something's in the bag, you can rest assured. Well, we will have to get together, you, your Mrs. and myself, and have dinner some night soon."
Aurelio "That would be fine, but right now I want to assure you of my loyalty for all you have done. It's undying."
The entire conversation appeared a day later in the Sunday edition of the New York Times. It was the first time Costello’s name had appeared in the paper since January of 1927.
Aurelio acknowledged making the phone call to Costello, but denied that he knew Costello was the Prime Minister of Organized Crime in America.
"During my brief acquaintance with Mr. Costello of approximately six months standing, I knew him to be a businessman of good repute, and I definitely disavow any knowledge of his criminal background." When asked to explain his "undying loyalty" comment, he responded "That's just the way some Italians express things,"
Aurelio won the election by almost 50,000 votes over Matthew M. Levy of the American Labor Party, despite the fact that Levy carried the full support of the Democratic machine. George Wolf, a Costello attorneys later wrote that after Aurelio took the bench, Costello sent an intermediary to "feel the judge out" about an upcoming trial which involved one of Costello’s people but Aurelio told the intermediary that there was nothing he could do. Costello tried again in a different case and was rebuffed a second time referring to Aurelio as a "Lousy ingrate and told reporters “I can't even get a parking ticket fixed with him." Aurelio died on the New York State Supreme Court bench in 1973 at the age of 81.