Spin Cycle

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How FBI and 'destiny' linked two stars of Greek parade

John Catsimatidis and his wife Margo had a

John Catsimatidis and his wife Margo had a prominent role at Sunday's Greek independence parade. (April 7, 2013) (Credit: Charles Eckert)

One of the defendants indicted in the latest round of federal public corruption cases in New York City was Queens GOP vice chairman Vincent Tabone -- general counsel and campaign adviser to GOP mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis.

This made for an interesting coincidence at Sunday’s Greek Independence Day Parade in Manhattan. As billionaire Catsimatidis wheeled down Fifth Avenue on his campaign float, he rolled right past George Venizelos -- the assistant director in charge of the FBI's New York field office, which led the probe that ensnared Tabone and others.

Venizelos, whose father emigrated to the United States from Greece, had been named grand marshal of the parade just two weeks before the corruption scandals broke.

"Destiny," Catsimatidis joked.

For his part, Venizelos said that the timing of the arrests was coincidental, adding that it had been "a good week for the FBI, and for me personally."

Venizelos clearly wasn't focused on Catsimatidis Sunday. He was typing on his BlackBerry as the campaign float approached the reviewing stand.

"You can't control where the cases go. It's all about doing the right thing," he said.

Catsimatidis, the parade's chairman emeritus, said: "George Venizelos is a great guy, and I want the young kids to be proud of him. I was with him last night; I congratulated him for his people doing a great job."
 

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