Trial of NYC Union Boss Begins

In opening statements on Jan. 14, fed. prosecutors accused Charles Novak and other frmr. officials of Local 1 of the Intl. Union of Elevator Constructors of lining their pockets with the wages of no-show wrkrs.  Novak’s trial on racketeering charges began on the 14th.  “Workers got paid for being in bars, for doing whatever,” said Asst. U.S. Attny. Keir Dougall.  From each no-show paycheck, Dougall said, a percentage went to Novak and more than 2 dozen other Local 1 bosses and members, while contractors received the rest as kickbacks.


Novak and 25 other bosses, members and associates were indicted on Feb. 7, 2002 on charges that they stole more than $6 million in fraudulent wages and benefits at more than 20 construction sites in the NYC area from 1989-2001.  The charges center on the collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) entered into by most major N.Y.C. construction Read More ➡

Judge Delays DOL Disclosure Reforms in Election Year

U.S. Dist. Judge Gladys Kessler (D.C., Clinton), on New Year’s Eve, blocked the immediate implementation of the Bush Administration’s union financial disclosure reforms.  Union bosses will now be able to spend membership dues, voluntary and compulsory, on election-year politics without having to account for it, which the new disclosure rules would force them to do.


This is not the first time Judge Kessler has sided with unions in a disclosure case.  In Dec. 2001, she ruled that documents revealing links between the AFL-CIO and Democratic Party during the 1996 campaign must be kept secret.  Kessler acknowledged that her opinion “ends a 25-year practice by the [Fed. Elect. Commn.] to make available to the public the full investigatory record pertaining to any complaint filed once the complaint is resolved.”  Kessler said that she was “compelled by the plain wording” of the Fed. Elect. Campaign Act, which Read More ➡

Wash. Women Complaining of Union Boss Harassment Threatened

Three women whose complaints of sexual harassment were instrumental in the firing of a union boss from his hospital job have reported getting threatening letters and phone calls, with 1 woman finding a mutilated rabbit in her front yard.  Three other accusers were named in a federal lawsuit by the ex-Western State mental hospital mgr., Barrette “Bear” Green, claiming to have been the victim of racism.  Green is also the frmr. head of Local 793 of the Wash. Fedtn. of Public Employees, which is affiliated with the Amer. Fedtn. Of State, County & Municipal Employees.


Therapist Kathleen Lizee accused Green of sexual harassment, and hospital managers of inaction, in a civil lawsuit that the state settled last year by agreeing to pay Lizee $896,000.  A consultant hired by the state soon turned up reports of coerced sex and harassment by Green from more than a dozen Read More ➡

Troubled NYC Local Hit with another Embezzlement Charge

Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau announced on Dec. 22 the arrest of Lloyd Clarke on charges of embezzling some $2.4 million from a local of Dist. Council 37.  D.C. 37 has seen more than 30 frmr. officials convicted of embezzlement and vote fraud.  Clarke worked for more than 20 yrs. As the treasurer of Local 375, the Civil Service Technical Guild.  The guild is affiliated with Amer. Fedtn. Of State, County & Municipal Employees. 


According to Morgenthau, Local 375 hired an outside auditor this past summer, who discovered that Clarke had “loaned” himself $500,000 from the union to start a real estate business that currently owns 11 apartment bldgs. worth $7 million.  Later, Clarke allegedly stole $2.34 million from the Professional Employees’ Legal Service from July 1996 thru May of last yr.  The Service is supposed to provide no-cost legal advice to union members Read More ➡

Hearing on Secondary Boycott of Overnite Set

A Nat’l Labor Relations Bd. administrative law judge in Atlanta will hear testimony on Apr. 15 on Overnite Transportation Co.’s allegations that the Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters engaged in an illegal secondary boycott when union activists picketed a number of the freight company’s customers.  The union engaged in numerous unlawful acts as part of its strategy of “ambulatory picketing” at sites where Overnite trucks were delivering or picking up goods from customers, says Overnite.  The hearing comes 30 months after IBT members struck the Richmond, Va.-based carrier in what the union claimed was an unfair labor practice strike. The ongoing job action, which has been marked by a barrage of litigation before NLRB as well as in state and federal courts, appears no closer to settlement today than it did when it began in 1999.

The secondary boycott charges against IBT relate to a series of picketing incidents that occurred … Read More ➡

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Boss Wilhelm Defends Chicago Trusteeship

Just before a hearing focusing on the trusteeship imposed on Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union Local 1 in Chicago, HERE boss John Wilhelm justified his actions. In a Mar. 13 statement, Wilhelm alleged financial and managerial deficiencies with Local 1, which for decades had been HERE’s flagship. Wilhelm pointed to a sharp decline in union representation in Chicago and substandard wages and contractual protections for Local 1 members. In large part, however, Wilhelm’s statement focused on reckless spending and financial mismanagement by local bosses.

Wilhelm’s press release come one day before HERE conducts a hearing on the trusteeship. The hearing, scheduled for Mar. 14-16, was ordered by the Dep’t of Labor’s Office of Labor Mgmt. Standards. After probing the legality of the trusteeship, OLMS concluded that HERE, “had an allowable purpose for imposing the trusteeship,” but had failed to hold a hearing to justify its actions with members … Read More ➡

Jury Convicts Boxing Boss in New Jersey

On Aug. 17, a federal jury in N.J. found Robert “Bob” Lee, Sr., ex-boss and founder of the Int’l Boxing Fed’n, guilty on six counts of union corruption. He faces 37 to 46 months in jail for convictions on three counts of racketeering, two counts of tax evasion and one count of money laundering.

U.S. Atty. for N.J., Robert J. Cleary, charged Lee with taking $338,000 in bribes from promoters and managers to fix rankings and sanction fights. The jury, found Lee guilty in his dealings with Francisco Fernandez of Colombia, the IBF’s S. Am. representative. Lee was acquitted on charges of improper payments to him by promoters Bob Arum, Cedric Kushner and Dino Duva.

Federal prosecutors continue their civil case against Lee and his son Robert, Jr., in which they are seeking a permanent injunction to keep the Lees from any involvement in the IBF and attempting to recover … Read More ➡

Ex-Boss Hanley Dies in Auto Accident

The members of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union will save $267,000 a year due to the Jan. 7 death of ex-boss Edward T. Hanley.  Hanley, 67, was forced to resign in 1998 under corruption allegations, but he swung criminal and civil immunities deals with the Dep’t of Justice and secured a $267,000 annual pension, more than his annual salary of $250,000.

“[H]e had a very high salary, enjoyed all the privileges of office and was aloof from the rank and file. And while he never was convicted…, he was always suspected because he associated with criminal elements,” said Richard Hurd, Cornell Univ. labor professor.

The Vilas County (Wis.) Sheriff’s Dep’t said Hanley was killed in a collision on County Hwy. B in Land O’Lakes, Wis. at 8:45 p.m. Hanley’s pickup truck collided with a pickup truck driven by Roy Stopczynski. Hanley, of Wadsworth,  Ill., suffered head and … Read More ➡

Las Vegas Boss under Attack

Unidentified dissident members of the Clark County Education Ass’n in Nevada have recently circulated bulletins under the name the Committee to Impeach Sue Strand. Strand is the top boss of CCEA. They accuse Strand of greed and utter incompetence.

One bulletin focused on Strand’s apparent indifference to union corruption. It quotes some of her published statements from recent years when she was asked about the embezzlement charges against ex-CCEA director Steve Confer in Indiana, Strand dismissed it as “just a silly issue.”  Confer pled guilty to union embezzlement on July 26.

Another bulletin went after the boss’ salary. “Members got a 1 percent raise and no increase in their benefits, but their president got an 11.6 percent increase,” states one bulletin. That raise would hike Strand’s compensation package from $100,566 to $112,238. By contrast, a beginning teacher makes $26,060. [Las Vegas Rev.-J. 10/28/99]

Workers Loose Libel Case against Union
The … Read More ➡

Louisiana Boss Fired for Wrongful Politicking

The St. Tammany Fire Protection District (La.) board voted 3-1 Mar. 9 to fire Slidell Firefighters Ass’n boss Terrel Noland for illegal political activities by a civil servant. The District found Noland guilty of influence-peddling in the 1998 Slidell City Council elections. Louisiana law allows union officials who also are under civil service to have a right to speak and take certain actions on behalf of the union. But Noland allegedly offered several council candidates union financial and political support in exchange for agreeing to appoint someone new to one or both of the two board slots appointed by the council. Noland denied making any quid pro quo offers. [Times-Picayune 3/10/99]

Massachusetts AFL-CIO Pulls Plug on Buffalo’s Propaganda Radio
The radio program, “Prospering in America,” a union-funded, far-left radio program lost its funding Mar. 5, ending a 6-year run on WHTT-FM in Buffalo. The union show was forced to close … Read More ➡