As widely anticipated, the Laborers Int’l Union of No. Am. “internal appeals officer” and ex-Clinton attorney, W. Neil Eggleston, Aug. 6 upheld a sham ruling that cleared LIUNA boss Arthur A. Coia of permitting organized crime to maintain its influence within LIUNA. Coia has well-documented, close personal, financial and political ties to Clinton. Eggleston was Clinton’s lead attorney for executive privilege matters and argued Clinton’s case for executive privilege before the Supreme Court last year. Eggleston also has several clients that are wrapped up in this Administration’s scandals including Labor Secretary Alexis H. Herman. Eggleston left intact a slap-on-the-wrist $100,000 fine imposed on Coia in Mar. for taking favors from a union vendor.
“This is the Arthur Coia big top,” said LIUNA dissident Alex Corns of Cal. “He picked everybody that is involved in the whole cleanup. I believe that they are all controlled to a certain extent by Coia…”
The Clinton-Reno Dep’t of Justice, which only mildly criticized the sham ruling last Mar. that cleared Coia, didn’t comment on Eggleston’s ruling. DOJ had urged the appeal by the ethically-challenged “in-house prosecutor” Robert D. Luskin. Luskin said of Eggleston’s ruling, “I think we were afforded a full opportunity to present evidence relevant to the charges and a fair opportunity to be heard.” Doesn’t sound like some one who just lost a major case, does it? Maybe Luskin was more concerned about his other client, Mark E. Middleton of the Clinton-Gore-Asian fundraising scandal fame. Middleton took the Fifth Amendment 28 times before a House committee on Aug. 5.
The appeal focused on Coia’s relationship with ex-LIUNA bosses including John Serpico. Serpico was removed from LIUNA in Jan. 1995. Some have alleged that Coia used LIUNA’s failed “internal reform effort” to run Serpico, Coia’s main rival for power, out of the union. [Providence Journal-Bulletin & BNA 8/10/99]