Ex-Boss Snags Immunity Deal

Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union ex-president Edward T. Hanley won’t be criminally prosecuted for any wrongdoing that may have occurred during his 25-years reign due to a Nov. 30 immunity deal with the U.S. Justice Dep’t. DOJ refused to discuss the deal that reportedly trumped efforts of U.S. Attorneys in Chicago and Madison, Wis., to bring criminal indictments against Hanley. One federal official, who requested anonymity, said the agreement “stinks.”

Hanley “retired” on Jul. 31 as a condition of another deal to avoid civil charges brought by HERE’s court-appointed monitor Kurt W. Muellenberg. Hanley allegedly ran “ghost Local 77” in Rhinelander, Wis., near his and other union bosses’ vacation homes as a way to have vacation costs covered by HERE. Hanley was reportedly shocked to learn his agreement to “retire” wouldn’t shield him from criminal prosecution. The boss threatened to back out of the civil deal, but allegedly DOJ’s criminal immunity deal satisfied him. Critics say the criminal immunity deal raises many questions about the value of DOJ’s reform efforts and what DOJ got in return for the deal. [BNA 12/01/98]