Urbana Officers Ousted

The Laborers’ International Union of North America has ousted all officers of Local 703 in Urbana, IL as part of the “internal reform effort” which is part of the controversial Operating Agreement between LIUNA and the government allowing LIUNA to “reform” itself. Officials alleged that the local’s officers failed to comply with orders for new elections and misspent union money. The action was facilitated by Robert D. Luskin, LIUNA’s in-house prosecutor; however, recent questions about his qualifications and possible conflicts of interest raise concerns about Luskin’s objectivity in the matter. [AP 07/03/98]

Hate-Crime Case May Expand
When 3 white youths were accused of brutally beating a black 13-year-old who had ventured into a mostly white Chicago neighborhood, the criminal case seemed clear. Even President Clinton spoke of the “savage, senseless assault driven by nothing but hate.” 16 months later, prosecutors are struggling to bringing a case to trial. The case became more complex in early Jul. when the Chicago Sun-Times quoted an unnamed law enforcement official as saying that the father of a key witness and the father of one of the defendants were associated with organized-crime. Chicago Crime Commission Executive Director Thomas Kirkpatrick pointed to a report by the commission last year listing defendant Frank Caruso’s father, Frank Caruso, Sr., as a LIUNA officer and associate of the Chicago mob family. Caruso was one of the few LIUNA bosses spared in Robert Luskin’s recent takeover of the Chicago Laborers’ Council which is a sign, dissidents allege, that Caruso, Sr., is close to LIUNA President Arthur A. Coia. [AP 07/07/98]

Never Forget
Former Cleveland LIUNA boss and convicted mobster, Anthony D. Liberatore, Sr., died Jul. 1 in federal prison. He was in his third term for a 1992 conviction on labor racketeering and money-laundering charges. His second conviction, in 1982, was on bribery and racketeering charges connected to a mob-related murder. His first conviction, in 1938 for which he served 20 years, was for his part in the killing of 2 Cleveland police officers. He was the “elected” business manager of Local 860. The local’s union hall is named in his “honor.” His son, Anthony, Jr., is the current head of the local. Former Cleveland FBI agent, Joseph E. Griffin, said it best, “Liberatore became a very powerful and ruthless leader of La Cosa Nostra in Cleveland. He was a very bad guy and it was appropriate that he died in prison.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer 07/07/98]