Corrupt Union Bosses Agree to Resign in Chicago

The in-house prosecutor for the Laborers Intl. Union of N. Amer., Robert Luskin, has obtained the resignations of several corrupt union officials in Chicago.  Last March, LIUNA took over Local 1001 after union hearing officer Peter Vaira found that the local “continues to be infiltrated by organized crime.”

 

Since early June, Nicholas Gironda, Sam DeChristopher, Michael Palmero, Floyd Grogan and James Capasso have agreed to leave the union and never seek ofc. or membership in it again.  In return, Luskin has agreed not to seek public disciplinary charges against them, which could lead to their banishment from the union and criminal indictments.  Because the men admitted no wrongdoing, they will keep their pensions.

 

Vaira concluded that 2 frmr. officials of Local 1001, Ernest Kumerow and Bruno Caruso, were “recognized organized crime associates” in his trusteeship report.  The two promoted and helped bring to Read More ➡

Two more Indictments Handed Down against FL and NY Bosses

An indictment was unsealed in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the East. Dist. of N.Y. on July 27 charging 2 officials of the Intl. Longshoremen’s Assn. — alleged associates of the Genovese Family of La Cosa Nostra — with extortion conspiracy aimed at placing Genovese associates as officers in the ILA, and controlling the operation of businesses on the piers in the N.Y., N.J. and south Fla.

 

Charged in the indictment were Harold Daggett, the asst. general organizer of the ILA pres. of N.J. Local 1804-1, and Arthur Coffey, an ILA vice-pres., vice-pres. of the ILA’s South East and Gulf Coast Regions, and pres. of 3 south Fla. locals.  They are accused of using organized crime’s influence to gain their own jobs and to place other mafiosos as officers in the union, and also to control businesses on the piers for the benefit of organized crime.  These Read More ➡

Ex-NYC Boss Stole Union Funds to Buy Champagne for Castro

Enex Steele was arraigned in a Manhattan court on July 28 for allegedly embezzling $400,000 from a royalty fund controlled by the Amer. Fedtn. of Musicians.  According to Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau, Steele was director of the union’s Sound Recording Special Payments Fund, through which $15-20 million in royalty payments are forwarded every yr. to performers belonging to the AFM.

 

Steele directed the fund for 3 yrs. until auditors discovered that he had given himself unauthorized payments from the fund for a variety of personal items: a $45,000 pay raise in 2003, $22,500 for leave days, $280,000 in cash advances, and $60,000 for Tiffany cuff links, Ferragamo shoes, a $5,000 tuxedo and Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz rentals.  Steele even used the royalty funds to pay for a trip to the Grammy awards; and to Cuba, where he presented a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne to Fidel Castro through Read More ➡

DOL Obtains Consent Judgment Restoring More Than $70,000 to New Jersey Union’s Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment requiring Jersey City, N.J.- based Allied Novelty and Production Workers’ Union Local 148; and Joseph Nardone, Jr., and Ralph Somma, the administrator and trustee to the union’s retirement and welfare plans, to restore $70,742 for engaging in multiple violations of federal pension law. Local 148 already has restored $6,467 to the plan.

 

The judgment, filed in the federal district court in Newark, resulted from a lawsuit filed by the department in February 2003. The suit alleged that Nardone and Somma imprudently caused the two plans to unlawfully pay for Nardone’s defense during his trusteeship litigation, which is in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

 

The defendants also caused the welfare plan to pay for general administrative expenses incurred by an employee in the Production Workers’ Local 148 Salaried Employee Pension Plan from February 1996 through July Read More ➡

Ex-Treasurer Admits Theft in Ohio Court

Wendy Braddock was sentenced on July 26 to 3 yrs. probation for stealing $48,000 from the Indian Hill Educ. Assn. between Aug. 1, 2001 and Dec. 1, 2003.  Hamilton County Common Pleas Ct. Judge Melba Marsh sentenced Braddock after making her stand before 4 teachers who sat in the jury box.  Judge Marsh was angry after reading the pre-sentencing report, in which Braddock avoided personal responsibility for the stolen funds with statements such as, “I apparently did this.”

 

But addressing the teachers in the jury box, Braddock said: “I have no excuse and I have no answers for you.  I took your trust and your money.  I can give back your money, but I can’t give back your trust or your time or your pain.”  Braddock has repaid the amount of the checks she wrote to herself.  She has also lost her teaching Read More ➡

Ex-Trustee Sentenced for Role in Capital Consultants Scandal

On July 15, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Dist. of Ore., Dennis Paul Talbott, former secy.-treasurer of Sheet Metal Workers Local 33, was sentenced to 3 yrs. probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.  Talbott pled guilty to 1 count of accepting a gratuity in connection with his duties as a trustee of an employee benefit plan.  The gratuity he accepted involved hunting and fishing trips paid for by Capital Consultants (CCL).  CCL was involved in the loss of over 350 million dollars-mostly from union pension funds.  The conviction follows an investigation by the Seattle Dist. Ofc. of the U.S. Ofc. of Labor Mgmt. Standards, the IRS, the FBI, the Dept. of Labor’s Ofc. of Inspector General and the Employee Benefits Security Administration. [OLMS, 7/28/04]

 

DOL Wins New Election in Puerto Rico

On July 13, in the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Read More ➡

Report: Feds Preparing Nationwide Racketeering Suit against ILA

The New York Post reports that the U.S. Attny. for the East. Dist. of N.Y. is preparing a nationwide civil suit against the Intl. Longshoremen’s Assn.  The reported preparations come on the heels of a string of arrests and convictions of ILA bosses from NYC to Miami for racketeering and organized crime influence.  The model for such an intervention already exists in the Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters, which is still under court supervision 15 yrs. after settling a similar lawsuit by the then-U.S. Attny. for the Sou. Dist. of NY, Rudolph Giuliani.

 

The reported attempt by the U.S. Attny. to take over the ILA is reportedly being aided by George Barone, who has admitted acting as an agent of the Genovese crime family with the ILA since the 1960s.  His testimony led to the 2003 conviction of Peter Gotti and 7 other members of the Gambino Read More ➡

N.J. Unionists Turn out for Indicted Mob Boss’s Party

A video turned over to the court-appointed administrator for Local 1588 of the Intl. Longshoremen’s Assn. shows numerous members of the union attending the birthday party for a reputed mob associate.  Such association would violate a 1992 court order barring any association between 1588 and organized crime.  On the basis of this evidence, the temp. administrator, frmr. NYPD chief Robert McGuire, has asked U.S. Dist. Judge John Martin, Jr. (SD, NY, GHW Bush) to delay officer election for a yr.

 

The Waterfront Commission of N.Y Harbor videotaped the party for reputed Genovese associate Nicholas Furina on Nov. 11, 2001.  He was indicted in Mar. 2002, along with Local 1588 pres. John Timpanaro, for shaking down longshore wrkrs. for money in exchange for job assignments.  Reportedly in attendance were numerous members of the union, incl. much of its frmr. hierarchy.

 

With every local pres., Read More ➡

AFL-CIO Loses Last Fight to Stop LM-2 Reform

U.S. Dist. Judge Gladys Kessler (D.C., Clinton) has cleared away the AFL-CIO’s last gasp attempt to escape the reformed financial disclosure forms they and the nation’s wealthiest unions must file with the U.S. Dept. of Labor.  Last Jan., Kessler ordered that the revised LM-2 forms take effect, either on July 1, 2004, or 90 days after DOL made available a “fully tested version” of the computer program for filling out the new form.

 

After DOL released the software to unions on Mar. 26, the AFL-CIO claimed that the program was not “fully tested,” and that the new reporting requirements — among them the disclosure of political spending — should not take effect on July 1.  On July 13, Judge Kessler pointed out that unions whose FY begins on July 1 have had 6 mos. to prepare for the new forms.  She also wrote that DOL “has responded in detail” Read More ➡

Hotel Employee, Textile Employee Unions Merge

At a joint convention ending on July 10, the merger of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees intl. union and the Union of Needletrades, Industrial & Textile Employees became official.  Now known as UNITE-HERE, the frmr. UNITE chief, Bruce Raynor, will become the merged union’s gen. pres.; while the frmr. head of HERE, John Wilhem, will now be the new union’s hospitality industry pres.  Left unanswered is whether Jesse Jackson’s mistress, Karin Stanford, will now be on the payroll of the merged union, as she was put on the HERE payroll in 1999, collecting $35,000 plus health care benefits while performing little work for the HERE.

 

The 2 union chieftains are part of a larger coalition of aggressive unions calling themselves the New Unity Partnership (NUP).  Besides Raynor and Wilhem, NUP is headed by Terence O’ Sullivan of the Laborers Intl. Union of N. Amer., Andrew Read More ➡