According to dialogue in Ordinary Routine, Paulie's initiation into the Salieri Crime Family took place sometime in 1920, making him a veteran member of the family of 10 years by then. Largely amiable and friendly, he possesses a fiery temper that, under the right conditions, can trigger bouts of explosive and unpredictable violence. Paulie is shown to be fond of alcohol, particularly getting inebriated frequently during the story, much the chagrin of Don Salieri and Sam.
Meeting Tommy Angelo
While escaping from Morello's soldiers in 1930, Paulie and Sam encountered Tommy Angelo while he was taking a break from taxi driving. Wounded and on the run, Paulie and Sam coerced Tommy into helping them escape. Paulie later assisted Tommy in exacting revenge on Morello's goons for trashing his taxi cab and this spurred Tommy into joining the Salieri Crime Family.
During a supposedly routine revenue collection at Clark's Motel, the trio are ambushed by Morello's men (seeking revenge for their vehicles being wrecked by Tommy). A wounded Paulie nearly escapes the motel.
Trouble With The Law
In 1932, Paulie was among the crowd when they watch Tommy win the race in place of Mikey Dunne, and later got drunk, prompting Tommy to either take him home, or take him to the Blue Tropics gentleman's club like he requested. Paulie is later tasked with Tommy to deal with a small time gang of hoodlums who were sexually harassing Sarah and accosting other Little Italy residents. Despite initially using only fists, knives, and blunt instruments, the hoodlums start firing, prompting both Tommy and Paulie to shoot back. They severely injure a gang member named Johnny with a gunshot, and unwittingly shoot and kill the gang's leader, Billy Ghilotti, the son of an influential city councillor, Roberto Ghillotti. The elder Ghillotti vows to seek revenge, aiming to eliminate the Salieri Crime Family within Lost Heaven for their role in his son's murder by any means necessary.
In 1933, Paulie and Tommy are sent by Don Salieri to meet up with Sam at a remote farm to collect a Canadian whiskey shipment. Once arriving there, they realize the meeting had been intercepted by the Lost Heaven Border Patrol and following a shootout and chase by both police cars and an armored van, the trio manage to escape with the whiskey shipment. Sam, gravely wounded, is taken to a doctor and the shipment deposited at Salieri's warehouse. Paulie later brokers a deal with whiskey dealer William Gates to purchase Kentucky whiskey for Salieri, instead of the original deal for Morello, under the pretense that this shipment was hijacked and stolen by Salieri. Morello's men intercept the deal, wounding William in the process but the whiskey was successfully delivered by the trio.
Going After Morello
In 1935, Paulie and Sam assist Tommy in escaping from the Lost Heaven Queen, a steamboat, following the successful assassination of Roberto Ghillotti who was celebrating his birthday. Paulie later took part in the second assassination attempt on Sergio Morello, however, Paulie, Sam and Tommy initially fail. Despite their initial failure, Tommy successfully manages to corner and kill Sergio, severely weakening the Morello Crime Family. This was followed by a subsequent attempt on Don Morello. The initial plan involved gunning down Don Morello in front of a theater, but ended up becoming a chase, with Morello not only escaping to the Lost Heaven Airport but boarding a private plane. The plane was shot down by Tommy Angelo and after the crash, the mortally Marcu Morello was finally gunned down by Tommy, putting an end to his crime family and operations, and giving the Salieri Crime Family nearly unopposed control of Lost Heaven's criminal underworld.
Paulie's Betrayal and Death
By 1938, Paulie is demonstrated to be somewhat melancholy and apathetic, with his revenue to Don Salieri being lower than agreed. Tommy tries to pay for Paulie's financial deficincies but is rebuked by Don Salieri. Paulie continues to demonstrate disillusionment with his life and his failure at his moneymaking efforts. The trio smuggle several crates containing cigars with diamonds hidden in them from a Customs lockup under federal investigation, under orders from Don Salieri. The trio are somewhat skeptical of the important of the smuggled diamonds, but go along nonetheless.
After successfully loading the crates onto a truck, the robbery is intercepted and following a chase, some boxes of cigars break in the process. The trio discover that the shipment actually contained drugs, a business venture that Don Salieri had forbid them from taking part in. Paulie is infuriated by this development, becoming further disillusioned with his career choice as a mobster and seeks to rob a bank to gain the money to escape the life. Tommy is hesitant due the scheme taking place under Don Salieri's nose but Paulie, along with the recent development with the smuggled drugs, convinces him to go along.
Despite a police shootout taking place during the armed robbery, Paulie and Tommy successfully escape with the loot. The following day, Tommy discovers Paulie dead in his apartment, executed with two shots to the temple. It is later revealed that the executor was Sam, under orders from Don Salieri for disobeying the Don's instructions and for becoming a liability for the Salieri Crime Family. Tommy took revenge for Paulie's death, shooting and killing Sam.
Paulie does not seem to have an immediate family, barring his mother. While repeatedly going out for prostitutes, he is shown to have difficulty in finding romantic relationships. Paulie seems to have some awareness of his lack of success with girls; when conversing with Tommy he remarks how he is approaching middle adulthood and lacking the money to provide for a wife. This lack of romantic attachment is one of his motivations in abandoning the mob life by 1938.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse
- Running Man
- Molotov Party
- Ordinary Routine
- Fair Play
- A Trip to the Country
- Great Deal
- Happy Birthday
- You Lucky Bastard
- Crème de la Crème
- Just for Relaxation
- The Death of Art (killed)
- Billy Ghillotti (Street Hoodlums)
- According to Paulie in Just for Relaxation, he is "nearly forty-years old".
- Also according to Paulie in Just for Relaxation, he is hoping to open a pizzeria if he succeeds in going straight.
- Paulie is viewed by his peers such as Sam Trapani and Don Salieri as dimwitted, yet Paulie demonstrates more than once that he is highly intelligent and calculating underneath his crass and jovial facade. Paulie is able to mastermind a complex plan for a bank heist in Moonlighting, which him and Tommy ultimately execute successfully. Earlier in the story during the chapter Great Deal, Paulie is also able to successfully broker a profitable bootlegging deal with an influential Kentucky whisky dealer named William Gates, to replace the Salieri family's slain Canadian whisky connection, which impresses even Don Salieri.
- Conversation in ending cutscene of "Just for Relaxation".