Probe Clears Teamster Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall, but Issues Linger

Ken Hall is breathing easier.  But his union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, isn’t quite out of the woods yet.  On February 17, former federal prosecutor Joseph diGenova, the union’s special independent investigator, withdrew obstruction charges against Hall, the IBT’s general secretary-treasurer and number two man behind General President James P. Hoffa.  In a letter to the union general counsel, diGenova wrote that Hall “did not play a personal role” in withholding over 32,000 documents, including emails, related to corruption probes.  The Teamsters, which had finalized a settlement with the Justice Department in January 2015 to phase out over two decades of tight federal supervision, remains under scrutiny.  That’s not good news for Northern California Teamster leader Rome Aloise.

Union Corruption Update examined this issue in detail last November.  The Teamsters for many years had been trying to extricate themselves from the terms of a March 1989 civil …

Probe Recommends Charges against Top Teamsters Official

ken-hall-and-james-hoffaHillary Clinton isn’t the only person these days accused of hiding emails to conceal crimes.  In a 42-page letter dated October 31, court-approved investigator Joseph diGenova appealed to International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa (r) to take action against IBT General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall (l).  According to diGenova, Hall hid over 17,000 email transmissions and other documents that could shed light on acts of embezzlement, bid-rigging and other acts of corruption.  For over six months, Hall, aided by Hoffa’s legal team, allegedly stonewalled investigators.  The IBT calls the charges “baseless.”  But the accusations may delay the union’s ongoing exit from federal control established by a 1989 racketeering settlement.  To complicate matters, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara last Thursday filed suit against the union, citing “unprecedented and dangerous” activity.

James Hoffa has headed the Washington, D.C.-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters since 1999.  The union, with a current estimated 1.4 …

IRB Charges Northern California Teamster Boss with Corruption

Teamsters logoWhen the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Justice Department agreed last January to replace the tight government oversight established over 25 years earlier with union self-regulation, the terms called for phasing out the federal role over five years rather than lifting it all at once.  Dues-paying members may be grateful for such a precaution.  This February 10, the court-approved monitoring agency known as the Independent Review Board (IRB) issued a report charging Northern California Teamster leader Rome Aloise with various acts of corruption, including racketeering and influence-peddling.  Nearly two weeks later, Hoffa, after reviewing the report, filed charges against Aloise with the union disciplinary board.  Aloise has run for election on the Hoffa slate.  But loyalty alone might not be enough to save his job.

The Washington, D.C.-based Teamsters have been a ward of the Independent Review Board since that three-member body was launched in 1992 in the wake …

Corrupt Coli Family, Chicago Teamsters under Fresh Scrutiny

dt_common_streams_streamserverThe good old days of union nepotism never really went away – not in Chicago anyway. According to published sources, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 727, long a virtual candy store for boss John Coli Sr. (in photo) and extended family, has been providing lavish compensation for a law firm whose managing partner is one of Coli’s sons.  The firm has been busy as of late.  In July, a Cook County judge ruled that the elder Coli and Teamsters Local 700, of which he is a trustee, were jointly liable for $2.3 million for breaking a building lease.  That’s not even taking into account a now-dismissed RICO suit charging the Colis and Local 727 with stiffing a funeral employee pension plan out of contributions.  If the family needs allies, it knows where to look, especially Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The Park Ridge, Ill.-based …

Feds Release Teamsters from Oversight, But Is Corruption Really Gone?

James Hoffa, Jr.This past January 14, the Justice Department and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached an agreement to end a quarter-century of federal oversight. Prosecutors believe a new era is overdue. "While threats persist, the organized crime influence the government found to have reached the highest echelons of IBT leadership in 1988 has long been expunged," announced Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The deal, set for a hearing on February 11 before District Chief Judge Loretta Preska, phases in an autonomy plan over five years and institutes safeguards against corruption. Yet the sincerity of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa's commitment to reform is open to question. The union, a favor factory for Hoffa and his allies, may become even more of one when full autonomy does arrive.

The settlement, spelled out in the U.S. Attorney's Office statement, calls for the union to appoint independent officers …

IRB Cites Former Minnesota Local Teamster Officials in Massive Thefts

teamsters-logoBradley Slawson Jr. long ago earned a reputation for intimidation. Now he’s likely earned one for theft as well. This time around, his father, Bradley Slawson Sr., appears to be the lead partner. On January 16, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) filed charges against the pair, based on recommendations by the Independent Review Board (IRB), the three-member court-mandated body that has overseen the Teamsters for more than two decades. The parent union accused the pair of embezzlement, bank fraud and other misconduct related to the disappearance of a combined more than $450,000 in funds and other things of value from an affiliate, Teamsters Local 120, and a related business. The IBT stripped the Slawsons of authority last fall following completion of an extensive review board probe and placed the Blaine, Minn. (Twin Cities-area) local under trusteeship. The Slawsons and their lawyer deny all wrongdoing, claiming the charges …

Ex-New York Teamster Boss Pleads Guilty to Corruption

Teamster President James P. HoffaAnthony Rumore treated union members as though they were personal servants. He’s now likely to be serving some prison time in the near future. Rumore, former longtime president of the Scarsdale, N.Y.-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 812 and Teamster District Joint Council 16, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 11 to making a false statement related to his coercion of various rank-and-file members to perform free labor for him. He initially had pleaded not guilty following his December 2007 arrest for extortion and embezzlement. 

Now in his mid 60s, Rumore arguably had been the most powerful Teamster official in the state of New York. Not only was he president of the 4,000-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 812 during 1988-2004, he also headed Joint Council 16, with some 25,000 members. And he inherited a union legacy, albeit an unenviable one. …