Top executives of 5 NY construction firms were indicted earlier this month on charges of making illegal payoffs over more than a decade to officials of two union locals. According to the indictments, since 1991, the execs had made hidden payments to officials of Local 14 and Local 15 of the Intl. Union of Operating Engineers.
Dino Tomassetti, president of Laquila Construction, was described by prosecutors as the lead defendant. The others arrested were John Amicucci, president of DeFoe Corporation; Guerino Cavaliere, president of Acme Skillman Construction Company; Peter Ruttura, vice president of Ruttura & Sons; and Edward Simpson, chief engineer at NAB Construction Corporation. All five were charged with conspiracy, mail fraud and illegal labor payments.
Prosecutors said that the contractors made payments to the union officials in exchange for their cooperation in violation of collective bargaining agreements. The officials allowed the companies to use fewer workers or pay less overtime than required by contracts, according to a law enforcement official. He said the payments totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last decade.
The arrests follow indictments in February 2003 of 42 people accused of extortion and racketeering for their roles in enforcing the influence of the Genovese and Colombo organized crime families over Local 14 and Local 15. All the defendants in that case have pled guilty, prosecutors said yesterday. [New York Times, 12/16/04]