Boss Drops Frivolous Suit Against Connecticut Dissident

Laborers’ Int’l Union of No. Am. Local 230 Boss Charles LeConche withdrew a lawsuit Jul. 2 against dissident Stephen Manos. It stemmed from a heated election campaign in 1997-98 in which Manos challenged LeConche’s grip on the Hartford local. Manos secretly recorded a Jul. 30, 1997 meeting of Local 230’s executive board at which LeConche reportedly threatened and assaulted Manos.

According to the tape, LeConche said, “Steve, you are about this [expletive] close to me coming over there and ripping your [expletive] throat out!” (A potential violation of the Hobbs Act.) Then, Manos said, LeConche rushed at him, and LeConche associate, Frank Freeman, threw him out the door. LeConche’s last words to Manos were: “We own you now!” In addition to local bosses present, LIUNA vice-president Vere O. Haynes saw the incident. Manos posted the tape to the internet and gave it to law enforcement (see http://www.laborers.org/).

In Mar. 1998, LeConche sued Manos alleging “personal, professional and pecuniary harm” saying that he had made false statements to the FBI, Hartford Police and media. After Manos testified before the U.S. House in May 1998, LeConche accused him of “unfounded allegations of criminal conduct.”

LeConche settled the suit days after Manos served a subpoena on him in a separate suit. Manos and two other dissidents, Gary Wall and William Cooksey, are suing Local 230, LIUNA, its ethically-challenged “in-house prosecutor” Robert D. Luskin and others under the federal racketeering laws. That suit was unaffected by LeConche’s settlement. Manos said the only concession he made was to not sue LeConche’s attorney, Patrick Tomasiew-icz. Manos said, “[I]t was just a matter of time before Charlie would fold up like a cheap suitcase. [He] doesn’t have the guts to face me in any legal forum.” [Manchester Journal Inquirer 7/3/99]

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