The union corruption trial for ex-Teamsters political director and Ron Carey aide, William W. Hamilton, was conveniently delayed an additional week (Oct. 12) while Al Gore secured the AFL-CIO endorsement. “Hamilton was indicted in May 1998 for crimes allegedly committed during the 1996 Teamsters election — hasn’t justice been postponed long enough?” said NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm.
Hamilton has been charged with conspiracy, embezzlement of union funds, mail fraud, wire fraud, making false statements to a court-appointed union election officer and perjury in connection with grand jury testimony. The trial began Oct. 18 and is expected to last three weeks. In the first week, Asst. U.S. Atty. Robert Rice described the schemes as money pouring out of IBT’s treasury “like water from an open faucet.” [Reuters 10/21/99]
“More troubling, however, is that the trial’s delay appears to be politically motivated,” added Boehm. “The delay seems to be timed to protect Al Gore from the appearance of being endorsed by a bunch of corrupt union bosses.”
Al Gore received the AFL-CIO’s endorsement for President Oct. 13. Gore heavily relied on the lobbying of AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard L. Trumka and AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee to secure the endorsement. Trumka and McEntee were implicated in the Hamilton and the Carey campaign’s scheme by a Nov. 17, 1997 court report that disqualified Carey from running for reelection. Trumka invoked the Fifth Amendment. This court report, issued by former-U.S. District Judge Kenneth Conboy, and a flow-chart summary are available at www.nlpc.org.
Teamsters’ top boss, James P. Hoffa, told the N.Y. Post on Oct. 11, “We will monitor that trial every day to see if any higher-ups are implicated. The fraud went higher than Hamilton….I’m hoping Hamilton pleads guilty… He can name the missing links in the money transfers to Carey.”
Yonkers Local Taken Over, Bosses Ousted
All seven board members of IBT Local 531 in Yonkers, N.Y., were suspended without pay, and IBT’s Independent Review Board appointed a trustee. The bosses allegedly mismanaged over $1 million in union funds and agreed to five sham contracts. The ousters came the week of Oct. 4. IRB also cited the bosses for attending a union Christmas party with Louis DeAngelis, who was permanently banned from IBT in 1991 for aiding embezzlement and associating with organized crime figures. [Daily News 10/11 & 10/14/99]