The New York area’s top Teamsters official has been permanently banned from the union for leaning on members from Local 812 reports Timothy O’Connor of the Journal News in Westchester, NY. Rumore was found to have anted up for his legal bills and used the local’s business agents as personal servants, including chauffeuring his family to appointments with a “guru.”
Rumore had been president of the Scarsdale-based Local 812 of the International Bhd. of Teamsters since 1988. For the past seven years, he also had been the president of Joint Council 16, an umbrella group covering more than 100,000 Teamsters in the region.
The Independent Review Board (IRB), a federal court-empowered watchdog panel, issued a scathing 91-page investigative report on Rumore last May, charging him with embezzlement and other misdeeds. Rumore did not show up at a July hearing on the charges, according to a four-page memorandum by the hearing committee, and Teamsters President James Hoffa sent him a subsequent letter upholding the charges and removing him from the union.
“The evidence portrays an appalling arrogance of power on the part of Anthony Rumore,” the three-member hearing panel wrote in the memo. “Neither this union nor its members can afford to have officials who treat the union’s employees as their personal servants.” Now the IRB has approved the union’s decision. The IRB was formed as a result of a 1989 consent decree that the Teamsters signed to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Dept. of Justice charging that the Teamsters were overrun with organized-crime influence.
A spokesman said Local 812, which has appointed a new president, Joseph Wojciechowski, welcomed the decision. “Local 812 is a vibrant, unified union that now, with this cloud no longer over its head, can once again play a major role in the Teamsters union,” spokesman Greg Tarpinian said. Joint Council 16’s new president, Gary LaBarbera, did not return a call seeking comment.
The IRB accused Rumore of running his local as a family fiefdom. Local 812 covers 3,855 workers, most of them beverage truck drivers. Rumore’s father, Louis Rumore, who was Local 812 vice president under his son, was ousted in 1990 after the review board charged him with being a member of the Gambino crime family. Anthony Rumore was accused of sending Local 812 members to do work at his father’s house while his father was there, violating the consent decree’s provision that no union member have any contact with “prohibited persons.”
Rumore ordered Local 812 members to set up a Christmas tree in his apartment every year. They were ordered to drive Rumore and his family to a wedding in Baltimore, with the gowns in a second car. Rumore’s two daughters were chauffeured home from school by union members in union cars, according to the report. One official testified that, over the past three years, he drove the Rumore family 15 to 20 times “to New Jersey to their, what they call a guru,” the report said. Union members were instructed to make alterations on one of Rumore’s homes, the report said. Anthony Rumore’s wife, Elizabeth, made $202,500 a year as director of the local’s retirement fund before resigning this year. Rumore’s annual salary from the local was $160,000, plus an additional $38,000 from Council 16.
But Rumore had financial problems when he returned to the local in June 2003 after a two-month suspension, having racked up $88,000 in legal bills. Upon his return, he squeezed local members to contribute to his legal defense fund, the report said. When Rumore was dissatisfied with the contributions, he canceled 17 arbitrations on behalf of suspended or fired members, and he ordered business agents to ignore union business and concentrate on “collecting my money,” the report said. Rumore admitted to investigators that three times he ordered business agents’ paychecks withheld because he was dissatisfied with the amount of money collected for his fund. “If my lawyers don’t eat,” he was quoted as saying, “they (the business agents) don’t eat.” [Journal News, 10/4/04]