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 ➡

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 ➡

Wisconsin Boss Arrested for Battery

Eight union radicals were arrested Dec. 4. for for disorderly conduct after raiding an employer-rights seminar in Milwaukee. Service Employees Int’l Union boss Steve Cupery was also arrested for battery. SEIU’s target was a seminar called, “Operating Union-Free in the 21st Century,” sponsored by the Wessels & Pautsch law firm. Union radicals marched outside the event, but then a security guard and a seminar attorney were punched. Protesters then attacked the meeting room and read a statement objecting to alternatives to unionization.  Police soon arrived to arrested them. Battery carries a fine of $330, disorderly conduct $115. [Mil. Journal-Sentinel 12/5/98]

$346K PAC Transfer Violate Law?
The Mich. Chamber of Commerce filed a complaint with state election officials Dec. 9 alleging that the Mich. United Auto Workers’ political action committee broke state campaign finance laws by accepting $346,000 from UAW’s national PAC. The Chamber says the transfer violated the state … 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 ➡

New York Probe Gobbles It’s First Union Turkey

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 ➡

Fugitive Witness Back, Ex-Boss’ Son Gets Lesser Sentence

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 ➡

Kentucky Probe Implicates Gov. in Trumka Visit

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 ➡

Sweeney Goes to Jail

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 ➡