Organized crime figure Chris Columbo claims that he helped kill a story in the Times Union in the late 1990's for a mob associate. This according to federal prosecutors, who told the Daily News
that Columbo said, "He had a hook in the newspaper." Columbo's price for helping edit the paper? 15 thousand clams ---that's mob talk for dollars
. TU editor Rex Smith, who was not in charge of the paper during that period, told the News:
"I'd be shocked out of my socks that anyone at the Albany Times Union got money to downplay a story. I think this is idle boasting. It's hogwash."
Whether it be hogwash, balderdash, or bunkum, the paper is investigating