Eight union radicals were arrested Dec. 4. for for disorderly conduct after raiding an employer-rights seminar in Milwaukee. Service Employees Int’l Union boss Steve Cupery was also arrested for battery. SEIU’s target was a seminar called, “Operating Union-Free in the 21st Century,” sponsored by the Wessels & Pautsch law firm. Union radicals marched outside the event, but then a security guard and a seminar attorney were punched. Protesters then attacked the meeting room and read a statement objecting to alternatives to unionization. Police soon arrived to arrested them. Battery carries a fine of $330, disorderly conduct $115. [Mil. Journal-Sentinel 12/5/98]
$346K PAC Transfer Violate Law?
The Mich. Chamber of Commerce filed a complaint with state election officials Dec. 9 alleging that the Mich. United Auto Workers’ political action committee broke state campaign finance laws by accepting $346,000 from UAW’s national PAC. The Chamber says the transfer violated the state … Read More ➡ “Wisconsin Boss Arrested for Battery”
From NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm’s letter-to-the-editor, “LIUNA reformer could use some reform himself,” [Wash. Times 11/21/98]: “There they go again. The preposterous attack on your paper by Laborers’ International Union of North America spokeswoman Linda Fisher was just another episode of union spin (“LIUNA has worked hard to clean itself up,” Letters, Nov. 16). Miss Fisher says LIUNA’s “internal reform program is not only working, but working well.” The real issue is for whom, or what, is it really working?
The so-called LIUNA internal reform effort is led by the ethically challenged Robert D. Luskin. On May 8, Mr. Luskin agreed to forfeit to the U.S. Justice Department $245,000 of $674,296 he received in “legal fees” from his client, Stephen A. Saccoccia. Saccoccia was a Rhode Island precious metals dealer convicted of money laundering for two South American drug cartels and La Cosa Nostra crime families in New England. … Read More ➡ “NLPC Blasts Luskin”
Am. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees Local 1251 boss Joseph DeCanio pled guilty Nov. 20 to embezzling $50,000 over 4 years as part of a kickback scheme that provided thousands of free Thanksgiving turkeys to members. He split the funds with another Local 1251 boss, Bessie Jamison. The action was part of expanding probe by the Manhattan Dist. Attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, into allegations of kickbacks, embezzlement, vote fraud and falsification of records in the 56 locals of the corrupt AFSCME Dist. Council 37 in N.Y. City.
Prosecutors said DeCanio inflated the price about $.20 per lbs., often raising the price to $1.10 per lbs. from the wholesale price of $.90. Thus he might embezzle $4,000 in providing 1,000 20-pound turkeys. But beyond Local 1251, union sources claim DeCanio had provided as many as 10,000 of turkeys each year to at least five other locals charging the locals … Read More ➡ “New York Probe Gobbles It’s First Union Turkey”
A possible mob-intimidated witness, Richard DeSantis, turn himself in Nov. 20 after evading Chicago police and the FBI for 7 months. He faces 3 years in prison for obstruction of justice. Due of his absence and the death of another prosecution witness, two of three defendants in a hate-crime case worked out a plea bargain and got merely probation for their roles in a racially motivated beating. Defendant Frank Caruso’s father and brother, Frank and Bruno, were powerful bosses in the Laborers’ Int’l Union of No. Am. in Chicago. Both were ousted this year by LIUNA for alleged links to organized crime. (Both have not faced criminal charges demonstrating the weakness of LIUNA internal reform effort.) Further, DeSantis’ father has been identified as a reputed mob bookmaker for an alleged gambling boss, Angelo LaPietra.
DeSantis witnessed the Mar. 21, 1997, beating of Lenard Clark. He gave prosecutors a handwritten and … Read More ➡ “Fugitive Witness Back, Ex-Boss’ Son Gets Lesser Sentence”
Prosecutors alleged Nov. 19 that Ky. Gov. Paul Patton’s (D) chief of staff and campaign manager, Andrew ”Skipper” Martin, illegally evaded a 1995 campaign spending limit by persuading the Teamsters union to hire a Patton aide to coordinate the campaign efforts with organized labor. Martin, as well as two Teamsters bosses Lon Fields, Sr. and Bob Winstead and Patton labor aide Danny Ross were indicted Sep. 24 and pled innocent Oct. 29. Patton wasn’t indicted, but he is implicated in the filing, called a bill of particulars. It says he asked Ross if ethically-challenged AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, Richard L. Trumka, could come to Ky. to campaign. (Separately, Trumka invoked the 5th Amendment to avoid connections to the national Teamsters money-laundering scandal.) The Ky. Democratic Party paid $3,879 for a Trumka campaign trip with Patton, which is now alleged to have been an illegal contribution.
To save money for TV ads, Martin … Read More ➡ “Kentucky Probe Implicates Gov. in Trumka Visit”
AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney was among 148 union radicals of arrested Nov. 17 in a Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees protest outside the San Francisco’s Marriott Hotel. Police estimated that more than 1,100 protesters blocked the street during the evening rush-hour rally. Sweeney bragged: “I think this is just an indication of the kind of organizing activity that we’re going to see not just in HERE but in the AFL-CIO… We’re trying to mobilize workers around issues that affect their lives. And we’re seeing more and more energy and enthusiasm around organizing campaigns and contract negotiations.” Sweeney threatened: “No matter how long it takes to bring this corporate criminal to justice [we’ll fight].” A Marriott spokesman said the hotel is the most profitable in the city and pays its workers $.40 cents to $1 an hour more than other union hotels. He added: “We’re honored Mr. Sweeney came to … Read More ➡ “Sweeney Goes to Jail”
Laborers’ Int’l Union of No. Am. Local 5, based in Chicago Hts., Ill., has been placed under supervision by LIUNA through an agreement between the local and LIUNA’s in-house prosecutor Robert D. Luskin. But recent questions about Luskin’s qualifications, motives and possible conflicts-of-interest raise concerns about his objectivity in this case. The so-called supervision agreement, dated Oct. 6, released Nov. 4, accuses Local 5 of financial malpractice, improper recordkeeping, undemocratic practices and withholding minutes and financial reports from members. The move was based on ex-bosses’ “ties to organized crime.” Several Local 5 bosses have been accused of mob-related crimes in the last 25 years, including ex-president Alfred Pilotto.
Luskin said William Clancey, a former FBI agent and current LIUNA insider, has been named supervisor and begun an audit. Luskin admitted that supervision is less severe than trusteeship, which removes bosses and brings in a administrative team for up to 18 … Read More ➡ “Luskin Goes Soft on Chicago Local, No Trusteeship”
Conn. Dist. Council of LIUNA settled a lawsuit Nov. 4 charging it with illegally collecting and increasing the dues of members. The suit, by Local 665 in Bridgeport, its business manager Ronald B. Nobili and 6 members, alleged that the council unilaterally raised dues without seeking member approval in violation of federal law. It also alleged that the funds were used to pay excessive salaries and personal expenses of council bosses and were distributed to serve bosses’ political interests, rather than the interests of the membership. The settlement requires the council to discontinue the practice and requires future increases be put to a secret ballot vote of the members. Council bosses agreed in the settlement not to retaliate against the plaintiffs and pay $100,000 in attorneys’ fees. The practices began in 1977 under ex-boss Dominick Lopreato, who is serving a 4-year federal prison sentence for kickbacks, and continued under the … Read More ➡ “Connecticut Boss Settles Suit over Dues Hikes”
The U.S. 3rd Cir. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld the racketeering and bribery conviction Nov. 5 of Louis Parise, Jr., the son of ousted Nat. Maritime Union boss, Louis Parise, Sr. Parise, Jr., faces a 30-month federal prison sentence after being found guilty of delivering cash to union bosses so that they would refer injured seafarers to a lawyer working with the family. Parise, Sr., is serving a 56-month sentence in a federal prison role in the scheme and for embezzling union funds. Parise, Jr.’s, brother, Robert, is due for sentencing in Feb. after he pled guilty to embezzlement last year. He was accused of running a fake NMU local in Miami that diverted tens of thousands of dollars in union funds. In the bribery scheme, Parise, Sr., paid union port agents to refer injured seafarers to Bernard Sacks, a Philadelphia attorney, who gave 5% of the resulting fees … Read More ➡ “Racketeering Conviction Upheld”
As a broad investigation begins into allegations of rampant corruption in Am. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees Dist. Council 37 in N.Y.C. (See UCU 1.11), dissidents say the union’s troubles stem largely from DC 37’s awkward governing structure. The structure discourages executive board members from questioning how the union is run and encourages skimpy financial oversight, little questioning and a lot of looking the other way. Critics say Stanley Hill, DC 37’s executive director, handpicked the 24-member board. Board members have a strong financial incentive to go along with Hill. They receive stipends averaging $31,530 a year on top of their union salaries: $30,000-$150,000. They get $18,000 for sitting on the board and $12,000 for heading a committee. Critics say these bosses do little extra work in return for the stipends. Each month, they attend a lavishly catered meeting with London broil or poached salmon. [… Read More ➡ “New York City Bosses’ Lavish Stipends”