Convicted Queens Trash-Hauler Was ‘Consultant’ For DA Morgenthau
MALBA, QUEENS – A Queens man was arrested last month for bribing a City College employee to cease his waste disposal company. He previously worked as a so-called “advisor” to longtime New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, whose legacy was the prosecution of white-collar crimes and an emphasis on reducing organized crime and fraud in the garbage disposal industry.
Malba-resident George Kalergios pleaded guilty to federal bribery last month after prosecutors accused him of bribing a director of the facility in excess of $ 11,000 for an exclusive litter disposal contract at the unnamed college to have.
In that case, no mention was made of Kalergios having close ties to law enforcement, including four years as an advisor to the Manhattan prosecutor under Morgenthau, a prosecutor’s spokesman who was confirmed to Patch.
Kalergios also previously worked as a detective for the NYPD, confirmed a police spokesman, and was assigned to the Manhattan Attorney’s Office at one point.
The NYPD did not answer additional questions about Kalergios’ service or pension. (The NYPD has long refused to disclose information about taxpayer-funded pensions for individual police officers, claiming that such disclosures would put “the life or safety” of former officers at risk.)
A spokesman for the DA office confirmed that Kalergios stepped down from his advisory role in February 2010 shortly after current District Attorney Cy Vance took office, replacing Morgenthau, who died in 2019. The spokeswoman, Naomi Puzzello, said the office could not provide any information about Kalergios’ salary or pension.
Kalergios lawyers did not respond to an email request for comment and Kalergios could not be reached directly for comment.
The title of a consultant gives little details about what Kalergios did for Morgenthau, but the book “Unfinished Business: The Mother Trucker” by businesswoman Nadine Shelby Schramm, whom Kalergios calls a friend, identified him as Morgenthau’s assistant. (In Schramm’s book, she tells how Kalergios and a large group of FBI agents got her to practice shooting on military grounds.)
Kalergios was close enough to Morgenthau to attend a 2009 Police Athletic League dinner in honor of Morgenthau at the Pierre Hotel, which included Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
At the time when Kalergios was working for Morgenthau, he was already working in waste management. In 2005 he founded his company Zeus Waste Management, which was mentioned in his most recent plea.
Morgenthau had previously filed dozens of indictments against the industry, accusing garbage hauliers of manipulating offers through trade groups controlled by the criminal families Gambino and Genovese.
In view of the Morgenthaus case and the new licensing requirements of the then Mayor Rudy Giuliani, many of these companies sold their interests to national companies – which has apparently created an opening for new players like Kalergios’ Zeus Waste Management who could manage to secure a license.
It is unclear whether Morgenthau or the prosecutor’s office knew about Kalergios’ company.
Even after Kalergios retired in 2010, he continued to have close ties to the DA office: in June of this year he was pictured at a fundraiser for Vance in the home of the billionaire supermarket mogul and former mayoral candidate.
Since then, Kalergios has remained an active political donor. He has given tens of thousands of dollars to local candidates since 2005, according to a patch analysis of city and state campaign financial records.
Last month, mayoral candidate Scott Stringer and city control candidate David Weprin said they had returned their donations from Kalergios, the Queens Daily Eagle reported.
Kalergios also owns housing company Tres Construction and multi-service contractor EKB Services, Inc., both based in Queens, according to court records.
Kalergios was released last month on a $ 250,000 bond issue and was ordered not to travel outside of New York City, Long Island or Delaware County, New York, according to court records.