Boss Coia Under Investigation in Canada

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario, not Laborers’ Int’l Union of No. Am.’s “internal reform effort,” has opened a fraud investigation into the “finances and dealings” of the Labourers’ Pension Fund of Central & Eastern Canada. LIUNA president Arthur A. Coia is one of the Fund’s 5 trustees being probed. Coia is also the Fund’s chairman. Investigators are probing a tainted 1989 land deal that the Fund paid $23.7 million for a parcel of land that is now allegedly worth $5 million. But the Fund’s books  value the at $28 million. The property is in Stoney Creek, Ontario. There were purportedly plans to have condos built, but there has be no development on the land. The parcel is owned by a company that is wholly controlled by the Fund. Ontario law and LIUNA’s own conflict-of-interest rules stated that the Fund’s assets cannot be invested in a “corporation wholly owned or … Read More ➡

LIUNA-DOJ AGREEMENT EXPIRES JAN. 31, 1999

The controversial 1995 Operating Agreement between LIUNA and the U.S. Dep’t of Justice that averted a RICO suit and a government takeover of LIUNA expires Jan. 31. The Agreement gives DOJ court-approved power to take over LIUNA if DOJ isn’t satisfied with the union’s “internal reform effort.” The Agreement is the only glimmer of hope for justice to prevail in LIUNA. Don’t be surprised if LIUNA bosses and their slick legal team led by “in-house prosecutor” Robert D. Luskin and general counsel Michael S. Bearse weasel out of the Agreement. Next week, NLPC will issue a report on the failure of the LIUNA “internal reform effort” and recommend that DOJ, at the very minimum, extend the current Agreement for several years or, preferably, take over LIUNA immediately.… Read More ➡

‘Reform Effort’ Fails, Gov’t Orders New Election in Ohio

The U.S. Dep’t of Labor, not LIUNA’s “internal reform effort,” ordered a new election at LIUNA Local 423 in Columbus because vice-president Pat Murphy’s felony conviction 14 years ago made him ineligible for union office. Murphy was also wrongful elected to the local’s district council seat. Both elections will be rerun and monitored by DOL on Jan. 30. In 1984, Murphy was convicted of robbery and spent nearly 2 years in prison. The conviction meant Murphy was ineligible, under federal law, for union office until 1999. Opponents tried to make this point during the 1998 election, but a complaint by dissidents saying Murphy was a felon was rejected by LIUNA’s “internal hearing officer” Peter F. Vaira who is part of the failed “internal reform effort” team. Vaira suspiciously claims that his office was unable to substantiate the felony conviction. Thankfully for dissidents, DOL investigated and chose to exercise its authority … Read More ➡

Minnesota Boss Gambled away Union Funds

Long-time boss of Int’l Union of Operating Engineers Local 35 in Minneapolis pled guilty Dec. 17 to embezzling over $200,000 from the local. Norman Campbell admitted he began using union funds illegally in Dec. 1990 and later used the money for drinking and gambling. Authorities are unsure how much union money is missing because Campbell destroyed many of the local’s records. Campbell’s attorney said it’s unlikely the boss will be able to pay back most of the funds. U.S. Dist. Judge James Rosenbaum ordered Campbell to not gamble while awaiting sentencing: “If you so much as flip a coin, I’ll throw you in jail,” the judge said. [Star Tribune 12/18/98]… Read More ➡

DC37 Bosses’ $2 Million Slush Fund Uncovered

TTop DC37 bosses plundered union finances like a “private candy store” by fudging membership numbers to create a $2 million slush fund, charged AFSCME administrator Lee Saunders at a Dec. 18 media conference. DC37 based its 1998 annual report on dues from 115,000 members when it really had 124,000, thus creating a $2 million false surplus. Saunders didn’t say how long the scam has lasted and doesn’t know where the money went.  Dues vary widely in DC37’s 56 locals, but members pay an average of $600 annually. Saunders also announced that 10 DC37 bosses, including ex-boss Stanley Hill, ran up nearly $500,000 on corporate Am. Express cards with few receipts. Even more bosses took frequent, unapproved, lavish trips without proof of expenses. DC37’s assets have dropped from $22 million to $3.4 million since 1994 due mostly to “irresponsible spending without any controls.” Saunders suspended the DC37’s treasurer, Robert Myers, who … Read More ➡

3 Hoffa Slate Members in Trouble

Teamsters president-elect James P. Hoffa is already under fire amid corruption allegations. The Teamsters’ court-appointed Independent Review Board filed charges Dec. 14 against J.D. Potter, Texas Teamsters boss and a vice-president on Hoffa’s slate, for lying to the election officer about funds he contributed to the Hoffa campaign. Potter allegedly falsely claimed that a $5,000 check to Hoffa’s campaign came from members of his local. This follows IRB charges of Dec. 3 against another Hoffa vice-presidential candidate, Thomas R. O’Donnell, president of Local 817 in Lake Success, N.Y., for filing false reports on campaign expenditures. O’Donnell failed to disclose payments to a campaign aide who is a convicted felon. On Dec. 10, IRB also charged a 1996 Hoffa vice-presidential candidate, Thomas Ryan, ex-president Local 107 in Philadelphia who was suspended in 1996 for embezzlement. The IRB alleges Ryan has ignored the terms of his suspension barring him from union involvement. … Read More ➡

DOL Forces Return of $20 Million to Pension Plan

Teamsters’ Local 705 in Chicago agreed Dec. 14 to restore $20 million to the union’s pension plan under a U.S. Dist. Court consent order and judgment won by the U.S. Dep’t of Labor. Trustees improperly transferred pension funds to a welfare benefit plan from 1991-95. Trustees claimed the transfers were to help support to the welfare plan. DOL charged that many individuals who paid into the pension plan were not covered by the welfare plan, and thus, were harmed by the transfers. The pension plan was worth $780 million in Jan. 1996. [BNA 12/16/98]… Read More ➡

McEntee Puts DC 37 Under Administratorship

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 ➡

Kentucky AFL-CIO in Melt-Down

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 ➡

Ex-Boss Snags Immunity Deal

Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union ex-president Edward T. Hanley won’t be criminally prosecuted for any wrongdoing that may have occurred during his 25-years reign due to a Nov. 30 immunity deal with the U.S. Justice Dep’t. DOJ refused to discuss the deal that reportedly trumped efforts of U.S. Attorneys in Chicago and Madison, Wis., to bring criminal indictments against Hanley. One federal official, who requested anonymity, said the agreement “stinks.”

Hanley “retired” on Jul. 31 as a condition of another deal to avoid civil charges brought by HERE’s court-appointed monitor Kurt W. Muellenberg. Hanley allegedly ran “ghost Local 77” in Rhinelander, Wis., near his and other union bosses’ vacation homes as a way to have vacation costs covered by HERE. Hanley was reportedly shocked to learn his agreement to “retire” wouldn’t shield him from criminal prosecution. The boss threatened to back out of the civil deal, but allegedly … Read More ➡

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