National AFSCME president Gerald W. McEntee placed all of DC 37 (56 locals) under an administratorship Nov. 30 due to growing allegations of corruption. Top McEntee lieutenant, Lee Saunders, was made DC 37 administrator. DC 37 Exec. Director Stanley W. Hill, widely alleged to be part of the corruption, took a voluntary, unpaid leave of absence. Numerous other bosses have step-aside or resigned with some getting cushy compensation packages. All 56 locals will be audited. AFSCME intends to share any findings of corruption with Manhattan Dist. Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau who has had an on-going criminal investigation into DC 37 for several months. [N.Y. Times 11/30 & 12/8/98; BNA 12/1/98]
McEntee has Ethics Questions of His Own
Via a letter-to-the-editor in the Dec. 4 Wall Street Journal and a Dec. 1 Newsday article, NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm blasted McEntee his hypocrisy in the DC 37 matter. Just last year … Read More ➡
The financial chaos of the Kentucky AFL-CIO was called “the worst” of any state operation for more than 25 years by the national AFL-CIO’s Laurence Gold. This after a Dec. 4 report by AFL-CIO hearing officer William George that said there is “no question” that the Ky. AFL-CIO has been “mismanaged for years,” and that the Ky. bosses allowed a “longstanding embezzlement scheme to operate.” George’s probe resulted from follows: 1) complaints about financial irregularities, 2) a Sep. 4 fire, that investigators determined was arson, that destroyed records at the Ky. AFL-CIO office, and 3) an Aug. 10 burglary where records were reported stolen. George’s report concluded that national monitors should remain in Ky. indefinitely.
George noted that state and federal criminal authorities have begun investigating the matter. The report focused on Morgan Bayless, the Ky. AFL-CIO’s ex-political director, and his late wife, Donna Bayless, the ex-bookkeeper for the Ky. … Read More ➡
Am. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees Local 1251 boss Joseph DeCanio pled guilty Nov. 20 to embezzling $50,000 over 4 years as part of a kickback scheme that provided thousands of free Thanksgiving turkeys to members. He split the funds with another Local 1251 boss, Bessie Jamison. The action was part of expanding probe by the Manhattan Dist. Attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, into allegations of kickbacks, embezzlement, vote fraud and falsification of records in the 56 locals of the corrupt AFSCME Dist. Council 37 in N.Y. City.
Prosecutors said DeCanio inflated the price about $.20 per lbs., often raising the price to $1.10 per lbs. from the wholesale price of $.90. Thus he might embezzle $4,000 in providing 1,000 20-pound turkeys. But beyond Local 1251, union sources claim DeCanio had provided as many as 10,000 of turkeys each year to at least five other locals charging the locals … Read More ➡
A possible mob-intimidated witness, Richard DeSantis, turn himself in Nov. 20 after evading Chicago police and the FBI for 7 months. He faces 3 years in prison for obstruction of justice. Due of his absence and the death of another prosecution witness, two of three defendants in a hate-crime case worked out a plea bargain and got merely probation for their roles in a racially motivated beating. Defendant Frank Caruso’s father and brother, Frank and Bruno, were powerful bosses in the Laborers’ Int’l Union of No. Am. in Chicago. Both were ousted this year by LIUNA for alleged links to organized crime. (Both have not faced criminal charges demonstrating the weakness of LIUNA internal reform effort.) Further, DeSantis’ father has been identified as a reputed mob bookmaker for an alleged gambling boss, Angelo LaPietra.
DeSantis witnessed the Mar. 21, 1997, beating of Lenard Clark. He gave prosecutors a handwritten and … Read More ➡
Prosecutors alleged Nov. 19 that Ky. Gov. Paul Patton’s (D) chief of staff and campaign manager, Andrew ”Skipper” Martin, illegally evaded a 1995 campaign spending limit by persuading the Teamsters union to hire a Patton aide to coordinate the campaign efforts with organized labor. Martin, as well as two Teamsters bosses Lon Fields, Sr. and Bob Winstead and Patton labor aide Danny Ross were indicted Sep. 24 and pled innocent Oct. 29. Patton wasn’t indicted, but he is implicated in the filing, called a bill of particulars. It says he asked Ross if ethically-challenged AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, Richard L. Trumka, could come to Ky. to campaign. (Separately, Trumka invoked the 5th Amendment to avoid connections to the national Teamsters money-laundering scandal.) The Ky. Democratic Party paid $3,879 for a Trumka campaign trip with Patton, which is now alleged to have been an illegal contribution.
To save money for TV ads, Martin … Read More ➡
AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney was among 148 union radicals of arrested Nov. 17 in a Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees protest outside the San Francisco’s Marriott Hotel. Police estimated that more than 1,100 protesters blocked the street during the evening rush-hour rally. Sweeney bragged: “I think this is just an indication of the kind of organizing activity that we’re going to see not just in HERE but in the AFL-CIO… We’re trying to mobilize workers around issues that affect their lives. And we’re seeing more and more energy and enthusiasm around organizing campaigns and contract negotiations.” Sweeney threatened: “No matter how long it takes to bring this corporate criminal to justice [we’ll fight].” A Marriott spokesman said the hotel is the most profitable in the city and pays its workers $.40 cents to $1 an hour more than other union hotels. He added: “We’re honored Mr. Sweeney came to … Read More ➡
From NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm’s letter-to-the-editor, “LIUNA reformer could use some reform himself,” [Wash. Times 11/21/98]: “There they go again. The preposterous attack on your paper by Laborers’ International Union of North America spokeswoman Linda Fisher was just another episode of union spin (“LIUNA has worked hard to clean itself up,” Letters, Nov. 16). Miss Fisher says LIUNA’s “internal reform program is not only working, but working well.” The real issue is for whom, or what, is it really working?
The so-called LIUNA internal reform effort is led by the ethically challenged Robert D. Luskin. On May 8, Mr. Luskin agreed to forfeit to the U.S. Justice Department $245,000 of $674,296 he received in “legal fees” from his client, Stephen A. Saccoccia. Saccoccia was a Rhode Island precious metals dealer convicted of money laundering for two South American drug cartels and La Cosa Nostra crime families in New England. … Read More ➡
As a broad investigation begins into allegations of rampant corruption in Am. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees Dist. Council 37 in N.Y.C. (See UCU 1.11), dissidents say the union’s troubles stem largely from DC 37’s awkward governing structure. The structure discourages executive board members from questioning how the union is run and encourages skimpy financial oversight, little questioning and a lot of looking the other way. Critics say Stanley Hill, DC 37’s executive director, handpicked the 24-member board. Board members have a strong financial incentive to go along with Hill. They receive stipends averaging $31,530 a year on top of their union salaries: $30,000-$150,000. They get $18,000 for sitting on the board and $12,000 for heading a committee. Critics say these bosses do little extra work in return for the stipends. Each month, they attend a lavishly catered meeting with London broil or poached salmon. [… Read More ➡
Excerpts from the Omaha World News’Nov. 9 editorial: “Democrats Trespass in a Private Matter.” — “Vice President Al Gore showed bad judgment when he stiffed an ABC News reporter on election night because of a labor dispute at the network. Gore, who is courting organized labor for support of his presidential bid in 2000, put politics ahead of doing the right thing. The day before the election, about 2,200 ABC camera workers, publicists, producers, writers and editors staged a one-day walkout in several major cities in a dispute about health coverage policies. The network refused to let strikers come back to work the following day because they would not promise to give advance notice of future work stoppages.
The president of the Communications Workers of America asked the Democratic and Republican Parties to deny interviews to ABC and its affiliates. Gore responded by refusing to see an ABC reporter who … Read More ➡
Teamsters Local 705’s firing of an Italian-American business agent didn’t constitute “national origin discrimination,” but was motivated by the local’s desire to eliminate all vestiges of a formerly corrupt organization; so ruled the U.S. 7th Cir. Court of Appeals in Chicago Nov. 9. The evidence of plaintiff Jack Indurante consisted primarily of a few anti-Italian “stray remarks” and was thus insufficient to reverse a lower court judgment against him. In May 1992, Daniel Ligurotis, then Local 705 president, hired Indurante. Then a court-appointed trustee removed Ligurotis and Indurante due to findings of corruption by the U.S. Dist. Court in Manhattan. Indurante sued Local 507 on May 10, 1996, alleging that he was fired because of his age and Italian heritage. The local defended its discharge of Indurante as an effort “to implement the mandate of the government-ordered trusteeship of the Teamsters, to clean house.” [BNA 11/10/98]… Read More ➡