ACLU Gets on Board in Support of Union Democracy in Wash. State

Seeking to uphold union democracy, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and Public Citizen filed suit on April 14 backing the free speech rights of a union member running for office.  The suit was filed on behalf of Joseph Hughes to secure his right to speak with fellow members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).


Hughes is running for Business Manager in the June election of IBEW Local 46, in the Seattle area.  Hughes is challenging a Local 46 rule that forbids candidates from discussing the union election or having political paraphernalia – including buttons or bumper stickers – anywhere on the union’s premises, including the hallways of the union hall or even in the union parking lot.  Because the union runs a hiring hall to which members come daily from surrounding counties in order to secure work, the rule limits a candidate’s Read More ➡

Pro-Stadium Union Boss Guilty of Mob Link

Michael Forde, head of the New York City District Council of Carpenters, has led a charmed life for the past year.  On April 27, 2004, a jury found Forde and a co-defendant guilty of taking a bribe from a mob-controlled contractor.  However, because of a legal technicality, he continues to run the 25,000-member union. 


Forde was among more than three dozen persons indicted in September 2000 by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.  A mob-linked contractor testified that Forde took money to look the other way while he used nonunion labor on a midtown hotel project.  After the conviction, Forde’s lawyers asked that the verdict be set aside because of jury misconduct allegations.  Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Atlas held hearings on the matter, and put off sentencing seven times between last June and November.  He has yet to rule on the Read More ➡

Scarsdale, NY, Resident Accused of Bribing Union Officials

Robert Persico, a Scarsdale, N.Y. businessman, can add one more notch to his mob connections.  Persico, 40, head of the Mount Vernon, N.Y.-based Persico Contracting and Trucking, was charged with bribing officials of Locals 14 and 15 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.  Earlier, he had been indicted for conspiring with a reputed Gambino family capo, Gregory DePalma, also from Scarsdale, to extort another construction company and transport stolen luxury goods. 


The indictment of Persico marks the second time in recent memory that a prominent Westchester County contractor has been indicted in connection with a federal investigation into IUOE corruption.  Last December, John Amicucci, president of DeFoe Corp., along with officials at four other construction companies, was charged with labor racketeering with members of the Gambino crime family.  Additionally, more than 40 contractors, union officials, and members of the Genovese and Read More ➡

Two Ex-Bosses Sentenced in Penn. Fed. Court

On March 29, 2005, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Terry Aldrich, former president of the Westfield Tanning Employees Association, was sentenced to two months in prison followed by three years probation for embezzlement. In addition, Aldrich will be subject to four months of electronic monitoring and he must pay restitution in the amount of $54,770 (payable in the minimum of $50.00 monthly installments). On September 15, 2004, Aldrich pled guilty to embezzling union funds in excess of $39,000.


Also on March 29, 2005, in the United Stated District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Robert Moon, former secretary-treasurer of the Westfield Tanning Employees Association, was sentenced to two months in prison followed by three years probation for embezzlement. Upon release, Moon will be subject to electronic monitoring for four months. Moon must pay restitution in the amount of Read More ➡

Ex-Secy. Treasurer Indicted in Md. Fed. Court

On March 2, in the U.S. District Court for Maryland, Steven R. Fairfax, former secy.-treasurer of Branch 3939, Natl. Assn. of Letter Carriers, was indicted on one count of embezzling union funds in the amount of $53,990.  Fairfax was also indicted on two counts of making false statements in reports. Fairfax‘s indictment follows an investigation by the Washington District Office  of the U.S. Office of Labor-Mgmt. Standards. (OLMS, 3/22/05]


Ex-Secy.-Treasurer Sentenced in Ill. Fed. Court

On March 11, in the U.S. Dist. Court for the Northern Dist. of Illinois, Derrick Thomas, former secretary-treasurer of Local 138, Glass Molders Plastics Union, was sentenced to three years probation, with the first six months in home confinement, for embezzling union funds.  In addition, he was ordered to: (1) make additional restitution of $3,528.52, (2) pay a special assessment of $100, and (3) complete 200 hours of Read More ➡

Gambino Crime Family Busted in Racketeering Case

David N. Kelley, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Pasquale D’Amuro, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the FBI, Robert Johnson, the District Attorney for Bronx County, and Gordon S. Heddell, the Inspector General of the United States Department of Labor, announced on March 9 the unsealing of a 53-count Indictment in Manhattan federal court captioned United States v. Arnold Squitieri, et al., 05 Cr. 228 (the Indictment”).


The Indictment charges 32 defendants, most of whom are members or associates of the Gambino Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra (“LCN”), with wide-ranging racketeering crimes and other offenses spanning more than a decade, including violent assault, extortion of various individuals and businesses, loansharking, union embezzlement, illegal gambling, trafficking in stolen property

and counterfeit goods, and mail fraud.


The chief defendant is Arnold Squitieri, a/k/a “Zeke,” a/k/a “Bozey,” a/k/a Read More ➡

Former NJ Party Chairman Charged with Embezzling from Union & Bankrupt Health Fund

A federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment on Feb. 23 against a former Sussex County political party chairman and two other individuals for their roles in embezzlement schemes that victimized Local 16 of the United Service Workers of America and its now-bankrupt health fund.  Charles W. Cart, Charles H. Wiener and Marvin Raphael are charged with conspiring to embezzle a total of approximately $284,000 in health and union funds as a result of a multi-faceted fraud scheme existing between May 2000 and November, 2001. 


Susan Donato of St. Cloud, Fla., formerly the President of Local 16 and the administrator of the Local 16 Health Fund was previously charged in a separate one-count Information.  Donato pled guilty in January to conspiracy to embezzle from the Health Fund and is presently cooperating in the government’s investigation.


Cart is a former Sussex County political party chairman as Read More ➡

S. Fla. Boss Sentenced for Racketeering

On Feb. 20, Walter J. Browne, former President of the National Federation of Public and Private Employees, and Patricia A. Devaney, his sister and Administrative Assistant at the union were sentenced to terms of 5 yrs, 10 months’ imprisonment and 2 yrs., 3 months’ imprisonment.  They were sentenced by U.S. Dist. Judge Jose E. Martinez (S.D. FL, G.W. Bush) in connection with the defendants’ violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.  The sentences were announced by Marcos Daniel Jiménez, U.S. Attny. for the Southern Dist. of Fla.; and Douglas Colon, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations


On June 2, 2004, Browne and Devaney were convicted by a federal jury in Miami, after a two-month trial, of conspiring to violate RICO, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d), and of committing substantive RICO Read More ➡

President Bush Puts Budget Priority on Union Corruption

While seeking fiscal responsibility in his proposed FY 2006 budget, Pres. Bush has made it clear that he will not stint on fighting union corruption.  While the Dept. of Labor’s overall budget is decreased by 4.4 pct. from FY 2005, the U.S. Office of Labor-Mgmt. Standards includes an increase of $7 million to fight fraud and corruption in labor unions. Money would be used to beef up audits, help hire 48 new auditors, and investigate and combat embezzlement of union funds. [DOL, 2/7/05]Read More ➡

Ex-Boston Bus. Mgr. Arrested on Racketeering Charges

The former Business Manager of Tunnel Workers Local 88 was arrested on Feb. 4 on federal racketeering charges.  Scott Boidi, age 46, of Pembroke, Massachusetts, is charged with one count of Racketeering, three counts of Embezzlement of Union Assets, one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, one count of Use of a Communication Facility in Furtherance of a Crime, one count of Carrying a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime; and two counts of Witness Tampering. 


From June 1991 through May 2002, Boidi served as the Business Manager of Local 88 of the Tunnel Workers in Boston and Quincy. As Bus. Mgr., Boidi was responsible for, among other things, the processing of membership applications, which included collecting initiation fees from prospective members and placing members in jobs.  The Indictment charges Boidi with having used the union as an enterprise Read More ➡