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Ratner backer once a pimp

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One of Bruce Ratner’s boosters at the pro–Atlantic Yards rally on Saturday is a former strip club manager who used to arrange for dancers to have sex with NBA stars.

The Atlantic Yards supporter, Thomas “Ziggy” Sicignano, who now runs Brooklyn U.S.A., a youth basketball program in Park Slope, said that Ratner’s foundation gave his organization $10,000 in 2005.

That donation came four years after his stunning courtroom admission that he prostituted strippers to attract NBA stars to the Gold Club in Atlanta.

“Forest City Ratner has been able to help us get T-shirts and shorts, and pay for referees — those kinds of expenses,” Sicignano told The Brooklyn Paper on Saturday.

Despite his seedy past, Sicignano was more than eager to talk to reporters about his support for Atlantic Yards and grant money that Ratner has given his program.

Sicigano said the organization helped train Stephon Marbury, Sebastian Telfair and Jamaal Tinsley — all of whom went on to greatness in the NBA, but also had problems with the law.

“I was never arrested, indicted or convicted of anything,” said Sicignano, who was sentenced to probation after cooperating in the bombshell 2001 investigation of the Gold Club, where he and his boss arranged for dancers to have sex with former New York Knick stars Patrick Ewing and John Starks.

“I was handed a subpoena to go to the grand jury and I told the truth,” said Sicignano.

Since the prostitution case, Sicignano said he has has concentrated on his youth teams.

He said his relationship with Ratner is limited.

“I’ve met Bruce Ratner once or twice. I’ve shaken his hand,” Sicignano said.

“I’ve assured him that the real Brooklynites are behind him.”

Forest City Ratner would not comment on its relationship with Sicignano.

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Reader Feedback

PJ from Williamsburg says:
I don't think Ziggy will be running a whorehouse out of the arena. Build the arena and bring the Nets to Brooklyn. Gersh tell the Mets to bring the Double A team to Brooklyn.
May 9, 2008, 10:19 pm
Barbara from Clinton Hill says:
The real Brooklynites are against this oversized project ridden with false promises and false hopes. How does a NJ basketball arena help NY people get jobs, meaningfull careers and preserve NY neighborhoods. Instead, corruption, greed, more cars, more people and more pollution all the while the world is facing turmoil, escalating gas prices and climate change. Sustainable planning, green cities and sensible development is what we need, not tens of thousands of more cars on our hundred yr. old bridges and infrastructure that can't handle what's it got now. Ratner's project is insane.
May 10, 2008, 3:03 am
Jon from Crown Heights says:
How is it that this guy was never arrested, indicted or convicted of anything, yet he received probation....something doesn't add up here.....perhaps the beat writer never checked the facts as he should have for if he would have he would have seen that Thomas "Ziggy" Sicignano was in fact never arrested, indicted or convicted of anything. Typical spin tactic---the opposition to the AY project----they(you) create lies to deceive and disrupt community progress---making things up to distract everyone and disrupt Brooklyn's Greatest Renaissance.
May 10, 2008, 3:30 am
Jon from Crown Heights says:
Barbara...what do you know about real Brooklynites? You're a typical hater....Atlantic Yards is sensible development...we need real economic development in Brooklyn. By the way...it is not a NJ basketball arena....IT WILL BE A BROOKLYN ARENA.
GO BROOKLYN!!!
May 10, 2008, 4:49 am
Peter from Fort Greene says:
....
Wow! This sounds like a great, high-character guy. This is just the kind of guy that we want to have working with and developing young people. I'm also sure that, from his past history, his has the kids best interest in mind and isn't interested in mining Brooklyn for talented athletes and thus, shoe contracts. That Ratner, he always backs the right horse. (Sarcasm)
May 10, 2008, 9:54 am
DW from PS says:
And it's documented that Goldstein of DDDB got his money from his father, who was with the sleazy Drexel Burnham Lambert financiers ... remember the name Michael Milken?
No one is squeaky clean in all this.
May 10, 2008, 1:05 pm
SLW from Park Slope says:
Typical Sleazy anti AY Propaganda. Goldstein and his cronies are lower than pond scum.
May 10, 2008, 2:56 pm
CT from BH says:
DW from PS: That's documented? where's that documentation? oh right, you don't have any.

what is probably true though is that Goldstein's father didn't admit in court that he arranged for strip club dancers to have sex with NBA stars.
May 11, 2008, 12:22 pm
Hooker from Brooklyn says:
DW from PS

You should learn how to use google a little bit better because you don't know thing one about what you are talking about. Like Stephen Witt you clearly make up stories.

As for this guy above being a pimp. so hard to believe from the look of him.

Oh and I heard, that your father was a prick, so clearly the apple does not fall far from the tree.
May 11, 2008, 4:47 pm
In the Name of being sick of these people from Shameful in Brooklyn says:
A. What is this document of which you speak? Hilarious.
B. Mr. G is no sleaze
C. He did not work at DBL at the time of which you speak
so D. equals you are the sleaze who is quite dirty. And maybe you wish you had some cronies.
May 11, 2008, 5:30 pm
Brooklyn from Hooker from PH says:
Goldstein - just another spoiled brat trust-funder.
Doesn't he have to go save the whales or vote for Hillary or some other lost cause?
May 13, 2008, 11:06 pm
Bar from Minneapolis says:
"Since the prostitution case, Sicignano said he has has concentrated on his youth teams" This might be true if you count recruiting girls from the shopping mall to work at Schiek's Palace Royale, another strip club this time in Minneapolis, concetrating on youth teams.

Almost immedatly after the trial was over in Atlanta he was up to his old tricks in Minnesota. Many of us quit working at Schieks due to the things he was doing there.
Oct. 21, 2008, 1:22 am
Dr. Ira Warheit from Carroll gardens says:
Ziggy has done more for kids in Brooklyn than any man I know.
And I do know.
I havde been involved in youth sports for 40 years
May 11, 2010, 3:55 am
Brooklyn USA Mom from Brooklyn says:
Go Coach Ziggy!!
Sept. 23, 2013, 7:22 pm
luis benitez from lakewood oh says:
Iggy was my manager when I was like 13 years old had the keys to the club money all around and he never touched none of it,i learned at that age that no matter how much money is left if it's not yours u don't touch. thank u ziggy after all these years, great example my friend.
March 9, 2014, 12:40 pm
m Lehrer from queens NY says:
he scams old ladies on ourtime.com.He felt me up in a car on Queens blvd.told me he was in love with me and then made dates with me and never showed up or even telephoned.I agree he's a low life degenerate and should not be working with young kids.I think he's a dangerous psychopath.I'm going to report him to the D.A office
Aug. 2, 2014, 10:57 pm
monique from Brownsville says:
Thanks for everything Ziggy
we in Brownsville I.S. 323 need u
April 29, 2015, 12:10 am

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