Sneed: Don’t name fed building after Eliot Ness: ex-IRS agents

Written By BY MICHAEL SNEED Posted: 02/28/2014, 02:21am
Array Annie Leibovitz speaks at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)


A bid to smack down naming a new federal building in Washington, D.C., after Prohibition-era crimefighter Eliot Ness is on the docket at City Hall on Friday.

Watch for former IRS agents Bob Feusel, Bill Paulin and Bill Desmond to testify Friday before a City Council Public Safety Committee meeting on why Ness does not deserve the honor.

The hearing is based on a City Council resolution proposed by Aldermen Ed Burke (14th) and Jim Balcer (11th) urging federal officials not to name the building after a man they claim was a figment of Hollywood’s imagination.

“Ness did not deserve the credit for putting Al Capone behind bars and played no role in his prosecution,” Burke said.

The proposal is an attempt to put the brakes on a proposal by U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin to name the new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters after Ness, a native of Chicago.

◆ Bust ’em: “It’s a lousy idea,” Chicago author Jonathan Eig, author of “Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America’s Most Wanted Gangster,” told Sneed in January. “I’d say the senators need to do some homework.”

◆ Bust ’em again: Author Douglas Perry’s new book, “Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero,” has just been reviewed in the Wall Street Journal as “a fine little biography of a man who doesn’t really deserve one.”

Feusel knew some of Ness’ crew and was an adviser on the “Untouchables” film starring actor Kevin Costner. “The guy didn’t like guns and was afraid of leaving the office,” he said.

Stay tuned.

Putin place . . .

Russian President Vladimir Putin was “incredibly nice,” according to U.S. Olympic ice dancing gold medalist Charlie White, who told the Big Apple press that the Russian leader’s mug wasn’t plastered all over Sochi during the Olympics a la the usual poster press of political strongmen.

I spy . . .

Ah, the egos of the rich and spoiled: Photographer Annie Leibovitz, who has snapped the rich and the famous, was spotted taking selfies at a star-studded fete at Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles to launch her new coffee table book: “Annie Leibovitz” . . . The songster Sting was spotted bellying up to the bar at NoMi, drinking a cappuccino and reading a newspaper . . . “Chicago Fire” actor Eammon Walker had lunch at Gibsons on Thursday . . . and U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Al Franken having lunch at Max and Benny’s in Northbrook Wednesday.

Behind the news . . .

The bum’s rush: Pity poor Pippa Middleton, whose beatific bum made headlines and gave her headaches after her posterior curve was snapped at sister Kate Middleton’s wedding three years ago to England’s Prince William.

Looking backward has brought wisdom to Pippa, who told a group of advertising women in London Tuesday:

“As I have found out, recognition has its upside, its downside and — you may say — its backside.”

The candle blower!

Incredible: Max Fabian, who spent 53 years working for the Anixter family business until he officially retired at 102, is being tossed a very special birthday party by Jim and Lesley Anixter when he turns 105 on March 9!

◆ Backshot: Jim Anixter, A-Z Industries’ president, was in grammar school when his dad and uncle hired Fabian, whom he considers a member of the family.

◆ Sureshot: “Loyalty is No. 1,” Fabian says. “If you have that, you are a good worker and you make friends for life.” Then he added, “Do the best job you can . . . and always listen to the boss.”

Sneedlings . . .

Friday’s birthdays: Bernadette Peters, 66; John Turturro, 57, and Gilbert Gottfried, 59.

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