Back in May, James J. Kearney Jr. received his just deserts. A couple of weeks ago his father took a major step toward that end. On July 11, James J. Kearney Sr., formerly the business manager of Local 45 of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers, pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to soliciting and receiving cash bribes to allow union contractors to hire nonunion workers. The elder Kearney had been arrested last November 22, and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing this October. The nearly 300-member construction union, since placed under trusteeship by the international union, is based in Jersey City, N.J.
To be euphemistic about it, Local 45 of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers (IAIW) has seen better days. For that matter, so has Laborers International Union of North America Local 592. On November 22, federal law enforcement agents arrested James Kearney Sr., until recently business manager for the Jersey City, N.J. union, for soliciting and receiving cash bribes to allow contractors to hire nonunion workers. Kearney's son, James Kearney Jr., a former Local 45 secretary-treasurer, pleaded guilty the previous week in federal court in an unrelated case to embezzling more than $560,000 from the union. During that timeline, the international union reportedly placed the local under trustee supervision. In a separate case, the feds on November 22 arrested Patrick Viola, ex-business manager for LIUNA Local 592 in Edgewater, N.J.