The Associated Press
Former Teamsters Boss Indicted
By Larry Neumeister, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) Former Teamsters boss Ron Carey was indicted Thursday on charges that he lied during an investigation of fund-raising in his 1996 re-election campaign.
A seven-count indictment charged Carey with perjury and making false statements to an election officer, the chief investigator for a review board and the board itself.
It alleged Carey, 64, of Queens, made a total of 18 false statements to the election officer on two occasions alone and a total of 39 false declarations. It said he committed perjury before a grand jury on July 16, 1997 and Oct. 1, 1997.
Prosecutors said the charges stemmed from investigations into illegal efforts by his campaign to raise money for his 1996 re-election campaign for the union's presidency.
A message left with a lawyer for Carey in Washington was not immediately returned.
Carey's 1996 re-election over James P. Hoffa was overturned after investigators found that his campaign had improperly benefited from donations the union made to third-party political organizations.
Prosecutors alleged that money was paid out to four organizations with the understanding that money would then be contributed to the effort to re-elect Carey. The union is not permitted to use its money to fund elections for union members.
Prosecutors said the contributions to organizations, including one for senior citizens, were staggering in their size and unprecedented, especially since the union was nearly broke.
Carey was disqualified from a new election after it was found he participated in the diversion of about $885,000 in union funds to his 1996 campaign. Carey has maintained that he was unaware of the scheme.
The indictment, though, alleged that Carey falsely denied knowledge of Teamsters contributions to the organizations and falsely claimed he could not remember conversations with Teamsters employees and his campaign manager about those contributions.
Hoffa, son of Jimmy Hoffa, lost to Carey by less than 4 percentage points in the 1996 election. Hoffa in December 1999 defeated Tom Leedham in a rerun presidential election.
After the disqualification, Carey took a leave as president and a federal auditor was named to oversee the finances of the 1.4-million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the nation's largest private-sector union. Later, Carey was expelled from the union.
William W. Hamilton Jr., the former Teamsters director of governmental affairs, was sentenced to three years in prison after he was found guilty by a jury of participating in the scheme.
Three consultants to Carey's campaign have pleaded guilty in federal court and were awaiting sentencing.
If convicted, Carey faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each of the seven counts in the indictment.