3 Hoffa Slate Members in Trouble

Teamsters president-elect James P. Hoffa is already under fire amid corruption allegations. The Teamsters’ court-appointed Independent Review Board filed charges Dec. 14 against J.D. Potter, Texas Teamsters boss and a vice-president on Hoffa’s slate, for lying to the election officer about funds he contributed to the Hoffa campaign. Potter allegedly falsely claimed that a $5,000 check to Hoffa’s campaign came from members of his local. This follows IRB charges of Dec. 3 against another Hoffa vice-presidential candidate, Thomas R. O’Donnell, president of Local 817 in Lake Success, N.Y., for filing false reports on campaign expenditures. O’Donnell failed to disclose payments to a campaign aide who is a convicted felon. On Dec. 10, IRB also charged a 1996 Hoffa vice-presidential candidate, Thomas Ryan, ex-president Local 107 in Philadelphia who was suspended in 1996 for embezzlement. The IRB alleges Ryan has ignored the terms of his suspension barring him from union involvement. Hoffa’s opponent, Tom Leedham, a member of ex-Teamster president Ron Carey’s 1996 scandal-ridden slate, filed a protest Dec. 22 requesting a delay in the certification of Hoffa’s election until these charges are resolved. [BNA 12/21, 23/98]

Hoffa May Sue Carey Under RICO
Teamsters president-elect James P. Hoffa is weighing a $1 million civil racketeering lawsuit against his ousted predecessor, Ron Carey to recover allegedly embezzled funds by Carey’s 1996 campaign. A RICO suit could also disclose how involved Clinton/Gore ’96 was in a money-laundering scheme that involved donations to Carey’s campaign in return for union contributions to the Democratic party and liberal groups. Hoffa also may find what duties Charles F.C. Ruff, currently White House chief counsel and one of Bill Clinton’s chief defenders in the impeachment proceedings, performed for the Teamsters in 1993. [Detroit News 12/15/98 & WashingtonTimes 12/18/98]

Bayh Pal Requests Reduced Sentence
Ex-Indiana United Mine Workers boss Larry Reynolds has requested a reduced sentence for his 1994 conviction on 25 counts of racketeering, mail fraud, conspiracy, tax evasion and embezzlement of $720,000 in union dues.  His attorney argued Dec. 23 in U.S. Dist. Court that the 115-month prison sentence was too harsh when compared with the sentence of another convicted in the same crime. Ex-UMW bookkeeper, Carol Sue Stoner, who pled guilty to stealing more than $300,000 in union dues, was sentenced to 36 months prison and released after 30 months. Reynolds has served 50 months. The case has gain attention because of Reynolds’ close friendship former Sen. Birch Bayh, father of the former Gov. and incoming Sen. Evan Bayh. Before the younger Bayh left the Gov.’s office in 1997, he recommended U.S. Dist. Judge Richard L. Young’s judicial appointment to Bill Clinton. Young is presiding over Reynolds’ case. Young pledged he wouldn’t let his relationship with the Bayhs affect his ruling.  The U.S. Atty.’s Office argued that the request should be handled by the U.S. Court of Appeals, not the U.S. Dist. Court. If Young decides his court has jurisdiction, he could reduce Reynolds’ sentence. [South Bend Tribune 12/24/98]

Alaska Official Fined $3,600
Wade Lewis, ex-official of the Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers Local 190 in Anchorage, was sentenced Dec. 21 to 3 years’ probation, 4 mos. home detention and fined $3,600 for embezzling union funds. He pled guilty to embezzling $8,883. He wrote 19 union checks to himself in 1996-97, then altered union records to cover it up. [Anchorage Daily News 12/23/98]