California Boss Sentenced to 21 Months

James E. Jackson, ex-boss of the Int’l Bhd. of Electrical Workers Local 45 in Hollywood, was sentenced Apr. 5 to 21 months in prison for embezzling union funds. Prosecutors allege that he embezzled over $259,000, but Jackson was also ordered to pay only $217,878 in restitution to IBEW. He pled guilty to using the union’s credit cards for unauthorized purposes from 1994-97. Jackson said he charged $1,200 to IBEW to pay for repair work done on his Mercedes-Benz and spent another $1,207 for a Caribbean cruise. He also had the union pay for auto maintenance and insurance and for his adult daughter’s health insurance. [Hollywood Reporter 4/6/99]

$212,500 Punitive Damages for Violence in Alaska
The Alaska Supreme Court affirmed an order Mar. 26 that Int’l Bhd. of Electrical Workers Local 1547 in Anchorage pay $212,500 in punitive damages to a nonunion firm for violence on picketing lines in 1986. Local … Read More ➡

New York Local 384 Bosses Indicted for Stealing $240,000

Manhattan Dist. Atty. Robert Morgenthau’s probe of the scandal-ridden Am. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees’ Dist. Council 37 won his first two indictments on Mar. 31. DC37 Local 384 president Francine Autovino and treasurer Connie Lango were indicted for stealing over $240,000 from union coffers. Both pled not guilty at their arraignments on charges of grand larceny and falsifying business records. Reportedly, both blamed the other for the missing thousands of dollars.

According to Morgenthau, Lango stole over $190,000 from May 1994 to Sep. 1995. She allegedly asked Local 384’s bank to write checks payable to herself, credit-card companies and car leasing firms. Reportedly, Autovino took over $50,000 by double-dipping on car expenses, filing false receipts and giving her friends and relatives freebie trips. Her alleged schemes included submitting invoices for printing union brochures and then named herself as the payee. Investigators are still looking into jewelry purchases … Read More ➡

Reputed New Jersey Mob Bosses Battle in Court

Daniel Provenzano, the nephew of the “infamous” ex-Teamsters boss Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano, is fighting back against his ex-associate turned government-informant Bernard Recanati by taking him to court. Reportedly, Recanati has helped the N.J. Atty. Gen.’s Office get an impending state-racketeering suit against the younger Provenzano. Provenzano is an alleged associate of the Genovese crime family. However, turning on his ex-boss has cost Recanati.

In Jun. 1997, both were arrested on charges of attempting to strong-arm an individual into turning over his insurance business because of gambling debts. Recanati was released on $50,000 bail posted by Provenzano. Later, after Recanati turned on Provenzano, a N.J. judge reduced his bail in Jan. 1998 from $50,000 to $5,000. Provenzano asked the court to have the money returned to him. But Recanati wanted the refund.

In Feb. 1998, both argued in criminal court over the cash, with Provenzano claiming it had never been … Read More ➡

Massachusetts Union Allies Reap Rewards

Union bosses that backed Mass. Gov. Paul Cellucci (R) in his narrow victory last year are already reaping the rewards. The Professional Firefighters of Mass. are a prime example. First, Cellucci’s budget had $4 million for a program that pays overtime to firefighters for teaching fire prevention in schools. Cellucci wants to fund the Student Awareness Fire Education program with money from the tobacco tax, and balked at protests from public health officials who claimed those funds are better spent battling smoking. Second, Cellucci is including firefighters in a state program entitling law enforcement workers who pursue post-high school education to earn as much as 25% above their pay grade. Third, Celluci has restored binding arbitration, which was banned in 1980. This mechanism enables firefighters to protect generous contract deals negotiated by local town managers from being wiped out during town meetings. Fourth, Cellucci put PFM boss Robert McCarthy into … Read More ➡

Federal Grand Jury Investigation of Boss Coia?

As reported in the last issue, the Laborers Int’l Union of No. Am.’s “internal reform effort” whitewashed its investigation of LIUNA boss Arthur A. Coia, and the Dep’t of Justice finally showed some signs of disbelief that LIUNA could reform itself. Shortly thereafter, new information was disclosed at a Mar. 11 news conference held by Dep. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder. An unidentified reporter asked Holder:

“One of his findings of fact in the ruling is that Mr. Coia avoided $42,000 worth of federal taxes. But he goes on to say that’s not a felony that’s within his province to investigate.  But it has been presented to your people in the Justice Department, and reportedly it’s been presented to a grand jury in Boston. What can you tell us about that case? Are you going to indict Mr. Coia?”

This is the first news that Coia may be under a federal … Read More ➡

Florida Members File Class-Action Discrimination Suit

Two Jacksonville women,Vonceil Fisher and Traveine Howard, recently filed a sex discrimination suit against the Int’l Longshoremen’s Ass’n, ILA Local 1408 and others. The state class-action suit was filed on behalf of all female-longshore-workers and for actions in 1970-99. Court records state ILA denied women “treatment equal to that afforded male workers with regard to availability of work, work assignments, hours of work and opportunity for earning compensation, on the basis of gender.” The suit further states that the women were subject to a hostile work environment, including “crude and derogatory references to female workers,” “sexual jokes” and “physically abusive conduct.” The suit seeks unspecified damages. [Florida Times-Union 3/13/99]… Read More ➡

Wisconsin Dues Collector Charged with $118,000 Theft

The ex-dues collector for the Milwaukee & So. Wis. Dist. Council of Carpenters was criminally charged Mar. 18 with stealing over $118,000 from the United Bhd. of Carpenters affiliate. Joanne Manojlovic worked for the union seven years and spent the last four as dues collector, seizing dues from eight locals and depositing them into a union bank account. At first, she allegedly took cash from collections then covered what she took. But, she allegedly stopped repaying her takings from Jan. 1996 to Sep. 1998. She faces 10 years in prison. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 3/19/99]

Ex-Boss Admits to Using Union Funds for Golf Expenses
Michael J. Brennan, ex-Iron Workers Political Action League offical, admitted Mar. 19 to spending about $7,000 in union funds on personal expenses at Avenel Tournament Players Club in Maryland. From Jan. 1994 to Oct. 1996, Brennan entertained other bosses, family and friends at the posh club. Brennan … Read More ➡

California Local’s Secondary Boycott Violated Consent Decree, Says 9th Circuit

Int’l Ass’n of Bridge, Structural & Ornamental Iron Workers Local 433 in L.A violated the terms of a consent decree when it engaged in secondary boycott activity even when bosses claim they forgot the consent decree was in place according to the U.S. 9th Cir. Court of Appeals. The Court granted the Nat. Labor Relations Board’s request for contempt adjudication and fines against Local 433.

In Apr. and May 1989, NLRB ruled against Local 433, finding that it violated the Nat. Labor Relations Act several times for secondary picketing at three different job sites. NLRB said Local 433 had “a proclivity to violate the secondary boycott provisions of the Act” and issued an order against the union. A “consent contempt adjudication” or consent decree was issued against Local 433 in Nov. 1991 by the Court for violation of the two NLRB orders and the Aug. 1989 Court order. Under the … Read More ➡

First Guilty Plea in New York Vote Scam

Manhattan Dist. Atty Robert M. Morgenthau won his first guilty plea in a vote-rigging scam involving the Am. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employee’s scandal-ridden Dist. Council 37. The vote was on DC37’s 1996 contract with N.Y. City. Mark Shaplo, a top associate to ex-DC37 boss Stanley Hill, implicated Mar. 24 himself, two other Hill associates and AFSCME Int’l Vice-President Albert A. Diop. But, Shaplo didn’t implicate Hill. Reportedly, Shaplo said the scheme worked by bosses 1) printing thousands of extra blank ballots, 2) marking them to show approval of the contract, 3) mixing the fake ballots with authentic ones, helping to ensure approval of the contract.

Shaplo also pled guilty yesterday to receiving more than $50,000 in kickbacks from the sale of hundreds of holiday turkeys each year at inflated prices to DC37 Local 1251. Shaplo faces six years in prison and must repay the union $80,000. Morgenthau … Read More ➡

Maryland AFSCME’s Mandatory Non-Member Fee Bill Stopped

Md. Gov. Parris N. Glendening’s (D) proposal for a mandatory union fee for all state employees appears defeated after a Md. House subcommittee removed it Mar. 17 from a collective bargaining bill. The controversial “agency fee” intended to compensate government employee unions for the costs of representing employees whether or not they are members. Glendening spokesman Ray Feldmann said the governor would continue to seek approval of the mandatory fee in the full committee and the Senate. But Rawlings said the frosty reaction to the compromise shows the depth of the committee’s opposition to agency fees.

The mandatory fee had been widely perceived as a reward to the Am. Fed. of State, County and Municipal Employees for its generous support of Glendening in the Nov. election. It was also portrayed as a serious threat to the Md. Classified Employees Ass’n, which supported Glendening’s opponent Ellen R. Sauerbrey. AFSCME, because it … Read More ➡