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Anthony Abbate Jr. Thu Oct 25 2012
By Julia Gray
Today is one of those days where it's best to work backwards and break it up into two stories because, yes, this particular part of the tale of woe is a definite two-parter.
The day ended with the testimony of fellow bartender and Linda Tripp look-a-like for the aughts, Patti Chiriboga. Or rather, both Mr. Ekl and Ms. Rubens, attorneys for the plaintiff and the City respectively, read her March 2007 grand jury testimony back to Chiriboga to which today's responses varied from "If you say so, yes" to "I don't recall" to "Yes" to "I guess so."
However, Chiriboga can't remember if her testimony was "good" during the grand jury investigation because she was confused. For instance, she told Jesse's Shortstop Inn manager Marcin Kolodciez during a taped conversation on Feb. 21, 2007, that Abbate was threatening her, and in a way, threatening him and bar patrons. She admitted this during the grand jury investigation but later admitted to lying about the threats.
What did she make up exactly? The whole "threat" about Abbate wanting the tape of the incident for fear that if released, he was going to lose his job, his badge, his gun and his pension was a lie. His threats to Chiriboga about how some bar patrons could get DUIs, and some of the bar employees could end up with "a pound of cocaine in the trunks of their cars," were fiction.
"I was a basket case during the grand jury," she said.
Chiriboga also considered Abbate a friend, and vice versa, which is surprising because she was ready to send him up the river with her lies. She's been to his house a couple of times, drank with him too. However, she never gave him special treatment at the bar — he always had to pay for his drinks, "just like everyone else."
When asked if Abbate should lose his job, she said she wasn't sure since "everybody has bad days."
Then, for the umpteenth time during the trial, the jury winced.
The middle acts featured Abbate's childhood friend, Gary Ortiz, and the manager of Jesse's Shortstop Inn, Martin Kolodciez. Abbate and Ortiz have been pals since the 4th grade. Kolodciez managed the bar for about four years before the incident, and the cameras were installed the Thursday before Feb. 19. After Obrycka was assaulted by Abbate and the cops showed up, Kolodciez allegedly informed the cops of the tape.
When Kolodciez met up with Chiriboga at another bar a couple of days later to discuss the beating, he was scared enough to bring along a tape recorder to tape the conversation. That's when he learned of the threats Abbate made — well, the allegedly fake ones. Kolodciez spent most of the time trying to convince Chiriboga to go to the now-defunct Office of Protective Services (OPS), but she refused. Eventually she relented and went to the OPS, but didn't want to speak to the investigators.
No one asked Kolodciez to destroy either the audio or videotapes. No one told him not to testify. No one threatened him to his face. No one ever got a DUI or had coke planted in his or her car trunks. No one ever tried to scare him either.
I kept hoping something like this would happen:
Tune in tomorrow for the rest.
Julia Gray is a freelance journalist who has written for the Beachwood Reporter, Time Out Chicago and TheStreet.com. She is also the occasional co-host of the Internet radio show "The Matthew Aaron Show," where she has interviewed folks like humorist Kelly Carlin, actors Timothy Busfield, Craig Bierko, and producer Mark Canton. Feel free to check out her blog.