(171 Total References)
Former Bensalem Director Frank ...
Former Bensalem Director Frank Friel dies â†’
Former Bensalem Director Frank Friel dies - Bensalem Police
Former Bensalem Director Frank Friel dies
Friel joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 1960 at the age of 18 and rose steadily through the ranks, making captain before leaving to take the Bensalem job when that township switched from a police chief s ystem to public safety director.
As a Philadelphia cop, Friel
was perhaps best known for his
role in the arrest and conviction of Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo and several of his
From 1982 to 1986, Friel headed Philadelphia's Organized Crime Task Force.
co-authored the book "Breaking the Mob" in 1990.
After leaving Bensalem, Friel started Atlantic Security International Investigations.
He has been a guest lecturer for the FBI on matters of organized crime, served as a consultant to Major League Baseball on organized crime, and taught courses on the subject at La Salle, Temple and St. Joseph's universities.
Friel was a charter member and first chairman of the Vidocq Society, a group of forensic experts dedicated to solving cold case homicides.
Since 2006, he had been director of
security and safety for the Independence Visitor Center Corporation
had also appeared on "60 Minutes" and other television shows.
wife, Kathleen, lived in Bensalem
since they were married 17 years ago.
The couple has four children from previous marriages and three grandchildren.
"I feel Frank
touched many lives and, every life he touched, those people were better for knowing him," said Kathleen Friel.
was a dear friend," said DiGirolamo.
"I was on the Blue Ribbon Panel that selected Frank
as the township's first public safety director.
was a very professional director who made the Bensalem
police a department second to none, and that has continued since he
accomplished during his
life was incredible."
"Frank was a true leader and got our police department moving again after a time of disorder," said Bensalem's current public safety director, Fred Harran.
A memorial Mass for Friel
will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Ephrem Roman Catholic Church, 5400 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem.
AP Wire | 09/15/2004 | Report: Friel to step down as gaming board appointee
Report: Friel to step down as gaming board appointeeAssociated Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Frank Friel
, the governor's embattled choice to lead the new state gambling board, planned to step down Wednesday, a newspaper reported.The Philadelphia Inquirer
, citing a top official in the Rendell
administration, reported in Wednesday editions that Friel
intended to resign from the seven-member Gaming Control Board.Friel
did not immediately return a telephone message requesting comment Wednesday.
Gov. Ed Rendell, appearing at an event in Philadelphia on Wednesday morning, declined to comment on the report.Senior officials in his
administration also said they could not comment on it.Friel was under fire for misrepresenting his educational background by incorrectly stating during sworn testimony three years ago that he had earned master's and bachelor's degrees.The Philadelphia Daily News
also reported last month that Friel
, a former police and security officer, testified in 2001 and 2002 on behalf of a boxing promoter with alleged mob ties.He
also was accused in a 1974 state Crime Commission report of being among dozens of police officers who took money from a club owner.Friel
denied any wrongdoing.Rendell, who appointed Friel to chair the gambling board, had steadfastly defended Friel and accused the media of smearing him.
House Speaker John M. Perzel, R-Philadelphia, said he
had not discussed the matter with administration officials and was not previously aware that Friel
planned to step down.
Senate Democratic leader, Robert J. Mellow of Lackawanna County, said senior Senate staff members had relayed reports that Friel
may step down but that he
had not discussed the matter with the administration.The mayor of Bensalem, where Friel worked as director of public safety in the 1990s, said he was surprised by the development and hadn't discussed the matter with Friel, a close friend."In my eyes, Frank does no wrong," said Mayor Joe DiGirolamo.
...Friel, a former Philadelphia police captain, co-chaired the FBI-Philadelphia Police Organized Crime Homicide Task Force in the 1980s.
The task force helped prosecute dozens of mobsters in the 1980s.The Daily News, citing an anonymous source, reported in Wednesday editions that Superior Court Judge Stephen J. McEwen Jr. and Gregory Fajt, Rendell's secretary of revenue, are being considered to replace Friel.
Members of the Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Bensalem Director of Public Safety, Frank Friel.
Frank Friel, named last week as chair of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, was identified in the police corruption report as one of 33 Philadelphia police officers accused of accepting money from the owner of an after-hours club in the city's Kensington section during the 1970s.Friel
denied any wrongdoing and said he
had truthfully testified before a grand jury that never filed criminal charges.He said he might have sought donations for the Police Athletic League or another cause but never took illegal contributions.
"For me, it's a nonissue," Friel
told the Philadelphia Daily News
for a story Thursday."But I certainly understand the need to pursue it."Friel told the governor about the Crime Commission report before his appointment, Rendell spokeswoman Kate Philips said.
..."We will investigate everything we can," said state police Capt. Ron Petyak, who is in charge of running background checks on Friel and the other six the gambling commission nominees.
...Friel, 62, was a Philadelphia police officer for nearly three decades, at one point leading the Organized Crime Task Force, whose purpose was to combat the city's then-powerful mob.He retired in 1989 to serve as public safety director in suburban Bensalem.He currently works as director of security at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, a post he will leave to assume the full-time chairman's job, which is expected to pay about $150,000.
Friel: Vigilant against organized crime (phillyBurbs.com)
"In a private conversation, the governor said to me, 'This might be the last conversation we ever have,' " said Frank Friel, a retired Philadelphia cop and former Bensalem public safety director.At home
in Bensalem last weekend, three days after his
appointment, the weight of his
new responsibility was sinking in.
"I don't want to underestimate it.I don't want to overstate it either.It's going to be difficult," Friel
said."Organized crime is a cash business and the mob has always preyed on the high-volume cash business because there's lots of ways to skim money.
"In New Jersey, there was an attempt to infiltrate through the construction of the casinos," Friel
said."They [mobsters] were very much involved in trying to control the casinos by virtue of the casino service industry and through the unions.We need to keep them totally off the radar screen."Friel
will head a seven-person board responsible for keeping both organized crime and politicians out of the gambling industry that's about to explode in Pennsylvania.The gaming control board also is charged with selecting companies that have the intention and the financial backing to sustain quality casino venues, such as the future operation at Philadelphia Park in Friel's hometown.
The most difficult test in the coming months will be an investigation into the companies that apply for gambling licenses, Friel
said.Who are the stakeholders in the nameless, faceless companies that can afford $50 million for a license and still have enough extra capital left for a first-rate casino?Friel
would find out.
The gaming board members, appointed by politicians, also will have to keep those politicians from substantial ties to the casinos.Pennsylvania's slots legislation allows elected officials to hold as much as a 1 percent interest in a gambling venue.
"I think that's completely inappropriate, and I think everyone is concentrating on ways to eliminate it," Friel
said of the 1 percent provision."I am not a politician.I've never been a politician.I don't feel any political pressure."
Rendell has issued an executive order prohibiting anyone in the governor's administration from being involved in casinos, Friel
The mayor said the township would provide Friel
and the gaming control board with all the assistance they need to maintain and regulate Philadelphia Park.Friel
has excellent judgment and investigative skills, the mayor said.
The gaming control board will make certain Philadelphia Park maintains a positive appearance and proves an economic booster rather than a disgrace, Friel
"This is a community that's near and dear to me," Friel
said."This is something I feel I have a particular interest in and concern for."Friel served as Bensalem's first public safety director, from 1989 to 1997.
Local officials credited Friel
with a dramatic turnaround in the town's police department.Politics and administrative turmoil had led to low morale on the force when Friel
took over.Before his
exit, the department was considered one of the top forces in the state.Friel's
earlier career as a Philadelphia police officer was marked with several high-profile arrests of organized crime figures such as reputed Mafia kingpin Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo.Friel worked often with Rendell, Philadelphia's district attorney during that time.
...Friel worked as a private investigator when he left the police department and now is head of security for The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.Friel said he expects to leave CHOP early in October to begin work on the gaming control board.So far, Friel; William Conaboy, vice president and general counsel for Allied Services; and Temple University Health System CEO Joseph W. "Chip" Marshall have been appointed to the board.
isn't a gambling man.
"I'd rather put $150 into a good meal than a slot machine," he