Union Corruption Update

Mixed Verdicts in Capital Consultants Case

U.S. Dist. Judge Anna Brown (Ore., Clinton) delivered a mixed bag of verdicts on June 16.  She found Dean Kirkland guilty of paying illegal gratuities to influence the investment decisions of union pension fund trustees.  But citing the vagueness of fed. law, she found the 2 trustees in question, Dean's father, Gary, and Robert Legino, not guilty of accepting Dean's illegal gifts, which came in the form of lavish gifts and worldwide hunting trips.


Feds Nab 1st Guilty Plea in Buffalo Racketeering Case

Brian Perry admitted on June 9 that he participated in "numerous acts of actual and threatened violence" as part of a conspiracy by Laborers Local 91 to intimidate non-union and other union labor at numerous Buffalo construction sites.  He has agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of 13 frmr. Local 91 officials and members for racketeering.  Perry entered his guilty plea before Chief U.S. Dist. Judge Richard Arcara (W.D. N.Y., Reagan).


Indicted Boss's Daughter Gets Cushy Payoff

"The main target of the federal probe, longtime Local 91 chief Michael "Butch" Quarcini, died last year, but prosecutors have shown no sign of letting up...


"Things aren't all bad for all the deposed leaders of Local 91, however.


"Cheryl Cicero, Quarcini's daughter and for years the extremely well-paid den mother at the union's Seneca Avenue headquarters, was recently awarded a reported settlement of $94,000 for her "wrongful dismissal" from her duties as Local 91's secretary and treasurer...

Mass. Officials Admit Assaulting Union Member

In its latest semiannual report to Congress, the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Ofc. of Inspector General announced the outcome of case of union assaults and drug dealings associated with "The Big Dig" highway project in Boston.


The Central Artery/Tunnel Project, known as the "Big Dig," is the largest federally funded highway project in the United States.  This investigation revealed that Local 88 of the Laborers Intl. Union of N. Amer., the lead union on the project, is involved in drug distribution and violence.

Senate Cmte. Issues ULLICO Report

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) blamed the union chiefs making up the bd. of the union-pension-owned ULLICO company for a insider stock-trading scandal, due to their infrequent meetings and poor attendance.  According to a June 2nd staff report by the U.S. Senate Cmte. on Governmental Affairs, the bd. members' lack of oversight allowed ex-CEO Robert Georgine to orchestrate a series of deals involving the private company's stock that enriched him and other employees and bd. members at the expense of the union pension funds supporting the company.  The 98-page majority staff report can be accessed on NLPC's website at http://www.nlpc.org/pdfs/ULLICO%20Report.pdf.


Key findings of the report include the following:

S. Fla. Union Chief Convicted of Racketeering

Broward County union boss Walter Browne and his sister, Patricia Devaney, were convicted on June 2 of running the Natl. Fdtn. of Public & Private Employees (NFPPE) as an organized crime enterprise.  The 3rd time proved to be the charm for fed. prosecutors.  In 1996, Browne pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mail tampering to allegedly rig a 1988 union vote, and accepted a brief suspension from the union.  In 1993, Browne was acquitted by a judge of federal mail fraud charges in Ft. Lauderdale.

S. Fla. Union Boss "Bled the Union"

"[Walter Browne] lived, breathed and bled the union." -- Defense lawyer Theresa Van Vliet

"The only thing I agree with is he bled the union.  He bled it dry." -- Asst. U.S. Attny. Lawrence LaVecchio. [Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 6/2/04]


3 Mich. Union Officials Convicted by Fed. Jury

Three employees of the Mich. Reg. Council of Carpenters were found guilty on May 27 of embezzlement by forcing union employees to work on a home owned by 2 of the defendants on union time.  Convicted were union rep. William Barnwell, the union's exec. admin. secy. Sandra Williamson, and her husband, David.  Sandra was also convicted of lying to fed. investigators.


Laborers Election Troubles in Las Vegas

Excerpts from op-ed column by John L. Smith, Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 26, 2004


Today's topic is the importance of free and fair elections.  Not in war-torn Iraq or some Third World backwater, but inside the doors of Las Vegas Local 872 of Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA.)


Indicted Ill. Union Boss Re-Elected

Despite facing indictment for labor racketeering with union pensions, Ed Schreier was overwhelmingly re-elected on June 5 as president of the local union whose pension fund he's accused of misusing.  The union, Local 136 of the Machinery Movers, Riggers & Erectors union, is affiliated with the Intl. Assn. of Iron Wrkrs.  Schreier was indicted early this yr. of accepting a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from an administrative services company in exchange for steering a contract paid by the Local's pension fund to that company.


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