James Cahill, former president of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, used to lean hard on public officials. But since his October 1 indictment for solicitation of bribery, and the indictment of 10 other union officials, they’ve been leaning hard on him. Late in December, in a new filing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, rejecting his request for leniency, alleged that Cahill has “extensive ties to organized crime,” citing his frequent meetings with known mobsters. His lawyer, Sam Talkin, disputes the allegation: “Mr. Cahill does not have any ties to organized crime. The government cites ancient anecdotes and contradictory information in support of their claim.” Yet the evidence is convincing. And it might be connected to a wave of guilty pleas last month by 11 Gambino crime family members and associates in a separate case.
The Albany-based New York … Read More ➡
New York City-area construction unions are well-known for being on the take. A recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice won’t likely alter that reputation. On October 1, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the arrest and indictment of 11 officials of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council on various charges related to their receipt of over $100,000 in bribes from nonunion contractors in return for bid-rigging, in the process selling out the dues-paying union members whom they represented. Led by Trades Council President James Cahill, the defendants are current or former members of two local affiliates of the United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters. Aiding in the probe was the Suffolk County (Long Island), N.Y. district attorney’s office. All the defendants pleaded not guilty at arraignment.
It’s a common form of back-scratching in the world of organized labor: An … Read More ➡