The U.S. Supreme Court turned down an appeal to hear the case of a ex-Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters political director William W. Hamilton, Jr., who was convicted of union corruption in 1999. The court, without comment, refused to examine the conviction for participating in a plan to use third-party political groups to benefit IBT’s ex-president Ron Carey. Hamilton received a three-year prison sentence. IBT contributed about $800,000 from its members to third-party political groups, such as the liberal Citizen Action, that ran get-out-the-vote efforts to benefit Democratic candidates in the 1996 elections. The groups, in turn, contributed to Carey’s own campaign fund to help his fight for re-election against challenger James P. Hoffa.
Hamilton selected which groups would get union money, but he argues that he never arranged a quid pro quo and never personally benefited from any donations. He was convicted of embezzlement, mail fraud and wire fraud in federal court in New York, and a federal appeals court upheld the conviction. Hamilton had asked the Supreme Court to overturn the convictions on the grounds that he believed the donations were proper. [AP 6/25/01]