The Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters $3 million RICO suit against its ex-boss Ron Carey for allegedly defrauding IBT to finance his 1996 re-election campaign was dismissed Oct. 1 by the U.S. Dist. Judge Laura T. Swain (S.D.N.Y., Clinton). IBT charged that Carey conspired with other individuals and groups to unlawfully swap union contributions to various liberal advocacy groups for reciprocal unlawful payments by those groups to Carey's 1996 campaign. Swain found that IBT failed to present facts sufficient to prove the "existence of a pattern of racketeering activity" and dismissed the suit.
On Sept. 6, in the perjury trial of expelled president of the Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, Ron Carey, the defense apparently got a big boost. Convicted felon William W. Hamilton, IBT's ex-political director, testified that he had never told Carey that a series of political contributions were linked to a money-laundering scheme to generate funds for Carey's 1996 campaign. Currently serving a three-year prison sentence after his Nov. 1999 conviction on charges that he embezzled IBT funds in the scandal and then lied about, Hamilton was called by the prosecution. But his testimony appeared to support the defense's contention that Carey was unaware that the donations were linked to his campaign. He reportedly stated he was testifying without a grant of immunity or any other deal from the prosecution.
The U.S. Supreme Court turned down an appeal to hear the case of a ex-Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters political director William W. Hamilton, Jr., who was convicted of union corruption in 1999. The court, without comment, refused to examine the conviction for participating in a plan to use third-party political groups to benefit IBT's ex-president Ron Carey. Hamilton received a three-year prison sentence. IBT contributed about $800,000 from its members to third-party political groups, such as the liberal Citizen Action, that ran get-out-the-vote efforts to benefit Democratic candidates in the 1996 elections. The groups, in turn, contributed to Carey's own campaign fund to help his fight for re-election against challenger James P. Hoffa.
In the first instance ever at the Fed. Election Comm'n, a completed Matter Under Review file was removed from the public record. It reportedly included sworn statements from AFL-CIO president John J. Sweeney, AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Richard L. Trumka, ex-Teamsters political director William W. Hamilton, and ex-Clinton-Gore advisor Tony Coelho as well as others from the Clinton-Gore and many House campaigns. The files reportedly include an exhaustive and detailed survey of union political activity and a request for sworn answers from the Executive Office of the President. There were 6,024 pages. [politicalmoneyline.com 5/15/01] According to FEC, the file was prematurely released and will be re-released shortly. But it's not clear if all 6,024 pages will be reissued.
The permanent expulsion of ex-Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters boss Ron Carey from IBT was upheld Apr. 18 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The court affirmed a 1998 district court ruling upholding and enforcing union disciplinary sanctions imposed on Carey and ex-IBT Governmental Affairs Director William W. Hamilton for the central roles they played in the elaborate money laundering scheme that tainted the 1996 IBT election.
"We recognize the irony, indeed the poignancy, of this case, in which a union leader, long pledged to internal reform, should be held accountable for corrupt practices. But the law requires no less," said U.S. Circuit Judge Robert A. Katzmann in writing for the court. "Union democracy, after all, is premised on fair elections. To that end, union officials, such as Carey and Hamilton, have a duty to ensure the integrity of that process and to fulfill their obligations to the union membership by adhering to the highest standards of governance."
U.S. Dist. Judge Thomas P. Griesa ordered Apr. 7 ex-Teamsters political director William W. Hamilton, Jr., to pay $100,000 in restitution for his role in a scheme to swap IBT political contributions for donations to Ron Carey's 1996 reelection campaign. Griesa already sentenced Hamilton to three years in prison. Hamilton is free on bail pending the appeal of his six-count conviction on conspiracy, embezzlement, fraud and perjury charges. In addition to prison, Hamilton must serve two years of supervised release. The Manhattan judge gave Hamilton until the end of his supervised release to pay the restitution.
U.S. Dist. Judge Thomas P. Griesa in Manhattan sentenced ex-Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters political director William W. Hamilton to 36 months in prison Mar. 14 after he was convicted of helping steer $885,000 in IBT funds to liberal groups as part of a scheme in which donors later contributed to ex-IBT boss Ron Carey's campaign. Federal sentencing guidelines recommend 46 to 57 months in prison. The maximum is 360 months; Hamilton's six convictions were punishable by up to five years each.
Hamilton's lawyer, G. Robert Gage, Jr., pled with Griesa to depart from the guidelines. He emphasized that Hamilton hadn't benefited financially from the embezzlement, had ill and elderly parents and had spent decades working in "public service." Hamilton led civil rights demonstrations as a student, headed Planned Parenthood's D.C. office and was AFSCME's chief of staff. Asides: While at Planned Parenthood, Hamilton attacked the late Mother Teresa in a June 29, 1985 letter in the Wash. Post. And, how does being an AFSCME boss qualify as "public service"?
Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters president, James P. Hoffa, appear Dec. 4 on CNN's "Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields." His discussion included the William W. Hamilton union corruption trial.
NOVAK: Mary Jo White, the U.S. Attorney in New York, has just won a conviction of the former political director of the Teamsters, William Hamilton, under a previous administration, on this deal where they were swapping money in between the Democratic National Committee and the Teamsters illegally. Do you believe, Mr. Hoffa, that the U.S. attorney should extend this investigation to an indictment of the AFL-CIO Secretary-treasurer Richard Trumka?
HOFFA: Well I'm not saying who should be indicted, but I would certainly say this, that I urge the U.S. attorney in New York to pursue all avenues. There are a number of loose ends. I understand the testimony at the Hamilton case opened up all kinds of new evidence that I didn't know about, that the government certainly knows, and there could be further prosecutions. And I think that they should pursue it. I'm not going to name names, but...
A federal jury in Manhattan convicted ex-Teamsters political director William W. Hamilton Nov. 19 of union corruption, finding that he helped divert union funds to the 1996 reelection campaign of the union’s ex-boss Ron Carey. The jury reached its verdict after a four-week trial in which the prosecutors linked Hamilton to a scheme that involved $885,000 in union funds being funneled to aid Carey’s campaign. The jury deliberated for nearly two days and found Hamilton guilty on all six counts, including conspiracy, embezzlement, fraud and perjury. Hamilton faces 30 years in prison at his sentencing on Feb. 29, 2000, by U.S. Dist. Judge Thomas P. Griesa. [N.Y. Times 11/20/99]
At the corruption trial of ex-Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters political director William W. Hamilton, Richard Sullivan, ex-DNC finance director, testified that Terence A. McAuliffe, Bill Clinton's friend and chief fundraiser, played a major role in promoting an illegal money-laundering scheme in which Democratic donors were to contribute to ex-IBT boss Ron Carey's 1996 reelection campaign in exchange for IBT's large donations to Democrats. Describing a Oct. 1996 meeting with the Democrats' fundraising staff, Sullivan testified, "[McAuliffe] said that if we could get a $50,000 contribution for the Carey campaign, he knew we could get $500,000 for Unity from the Teamsters." Unity was a joint fund-raising effort by Clinton-Gore 96 and other Democratic campaign committees.