Texas Boss Sentenced to 55 Months for Kickbacks

San Antonio union boss Harold Flammia was sentenced Feb. 5 to 55 months in prison and ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution for looting a taxpayer-funded police association legal fund. Asst. U.S. Atty. Chris Gober termed Flammia’s crimes as “classic influence peddling” and “a profound breach of trust.” In May, Flammia pled guilty to one count of fraud and one count of money laundering.

Flammia’s kickback scheme started in 1988, when he became president of the San Antonio Police Officers Ass’n. He negotiated a city contract that included a clause that earmarked union dues and taxpayers funds for a legal fund to aide police officers. The city paid millions of dollars into the fund, which was managed by the Combined Law Enforcement Ass’n of Tex. Flammia was CLEAT’s treasurer and later was a regional director and board member. The boss solicited kickbacks from a CLEAT attorney and in return, Flammia used his clout to ensure the attorney never lost the $900,000 a year contract. Over 8 years, Flammia collected over $500,000. Four others, all attorneys, have pled guilty in the scheme. [San Antonio Express-News 2/6/99]

Feds Probe N.Y. Benefit Fund
The U.S. Dep’t of Labor has begun investigating a United Bhd. of Carpenters benefit fund. The probe comes after union bosses awarded the management of the N.Y. Carp. Dist. Council’s $1.7 billion fund to Zenith Administrators. The fund manager’s selection came as trustees voted to charge retired members up to $180 a month for benefits, saying they needed the money to stay afloat. Dissidents believed it was a political move to force retirees to drop their membership. Investigators visited the Dist. Council’s offices in Jan. and took records on Zenith’s selection. The Dist. Council. has been under a receivership by national UBC boss Douglas McCarron for two years. [Daily News 2/8/99]