The in-house prosecutor for the Laborers Intl. Union of N. Amer., Robert Luskin, has obtained the resignations of several corrupt union officials in Chicago. Last March, LIUNA took over Local 1001 after union hearing officer Peter Vaira found that the local “continues to be infiltrated by organized crime.”
Since early June, Nicholas Gironda, Sam DeChristopher, Michael Palmero, Floyd Grogan and James Capasso have agreed to leave the union and never seek ofc. or membership in it again. In return, Luskin has agreed not to seek public disciplinary charges against them, which could lead to their banishment from the union and criminal indictments. Because the men admitted no wrongdoing, they will keep their pensions.
Vaira concluded that 2 frmr. officials of Local 1001, Ernest Kumerow and Bruno Caruso, were “recognized organized crime associates” in his trusteeship report. The two promoted and helped bring to power Gironda after they resigned. Vaira also found that the union was making pension contributions for more than 30 people, some of whom were not entitled to union benefits. According to Vaira, Capasso, the union’s auditor, “was not and is not qualified to hold the position.”
These resignations may not be the last. “There are 5 remaining officers/executive board members, and all I can say is we’re not finished,” Luskin said. [Chicago Sun-Times, 7/26/04]