Joey Merlino, the longtime Philadelphia crime boss profiled in Sunday’s Miami Herald, called a Herald reporter Sunday night on her cell phone to answer the question that has puzzled mob watchers here and up north: Why did he move to Boca Raton after finishing a prison stint for racketeering?
Merlino’s explanation: “I like it here.”
He did not elaborate.
Merlino, who declined to talk in detail before Sunday’s article and seldom speaks publicly, expounded briefly on a few other matters in a 15-minute conversation:
Merlino called LaPenta’s comments “lies” and denied having ever taken a drug in his life.
He would not say how he is making a living these days.
“I don’t even know what the Pine Barrens is,” Merlino said.
Vick went on to have a big night as the Eagles beat the Giants, 19-17.