Union Training School Linked to Corruption Probe

Federal investigators probing embattled Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 25 boss George W. Cashman have subpoenaed Mass. Port Auth. records cornering a sweetheart deal that allows the Local 25 to operate a profitable truck driver training school rent-free on MPA’s prime waterfront property in East Boston, sources told the Boston Herald. Investigators are reportedly eyeing whether Charlestown, Mass.-based Local 25 is being given special treatment because its president is Cashman, who is also a member of the MPA’s board of directors. In addition, the driving school may be violating state law by training drivers for commercial driver’s licenses who are not members of Local 25. Reportedly, MPA’s employees receive training at the IBT school.  Further, drivers from other companies, including utilities, allegedly pay for instruction at the IBT school even though the school is not certified, as required by the Registry of Motor Vehicles if the school trains drivers outside Local 25.

The head of the IBT school is Sean O’Brien, a former member of the Local 25’s movie crew, which is the focus of a federal racketeering probe. O’Brien’s father is William O’Brien, a transportation coordinator for the movie crew. William O’Brien’s name appears in an indictment in the 1994 armored car heist in New Hampshire that ended in the execution of two guards. The indictment stated William O’Brien’s name was on the rental agreement of the getaway car, but O’Brien was never charged. In addition to Sean, William O’Brien has two other sons who are members of Local 25; one who works on the movie crew and another employed at MPA.

This reported subpoena is the second MPA has received from investigators regarding Cashman. In May, the Herald reported investigators subpoenaed Cashman’s MPA credit card and expense records. The subpoenas are the latest twist in a federal grand jury’s widening two-year-old racketeering probe of Cashman and other Local 25 members. Reportedly, investigators are looking deeper into Cashman’s relationships with state officials, including $125,000 that has been tucked into each of the last three state budgets for Local 25 to train its members. Cashman was a confidant of ex-Gov. Paul Cellucci and threw Local 25’s political support behind Cellucci. Cellucci, now Ambassador to Canada, reappointed Cashman to a seven-year term on the MPA board. [Boston Herald 6/13/01]