By Kevin Galvin
Associated Press Writer
Thursday, August 27, 1998
WASHINGTON (AP) --
A federal judge has asked the court-appointed board that monitors
the Teamsters how it is handling allegations against James P.
Hoffa, reviving the possibility of a new Hoffa inquiry.
U.S. District Judge David Edelstein wrote
to members of the Independent Review Board after Hoffa's opponents
complained Hoffa hadn't been fully investigated.
Campaign manager Tom Pazzi said Hoffa had
indeed been investigated and a fresh review of allegations from
a court-appointed election monitor was unwarranted.
``It was an exhaustive investigation with
the election officer using subpoena power and other resources
granted to him by the court,'' Pazzi said. ``There is no reason
for the matter to go any further.''
Election Officer Michael Cherkasky ruled
in April that Hoffa had committed several election improprieties
during his 1996 bid for the union presidency and that he had been
``vague and not credible'' in sworn testimony to investigators.
In June, Edelstein increased fines levied
against the son of the late Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa. Despite
what Edelstein called ``worrisome and suspect''
campaign practices, he upheld the election officer's
decision allowing Hoffa to take part in a new election.
The new election was called after former
Teamsters President Ron Carey's re-election over Hoffa was set
aside due to a scheme to funnel union money to boost Carey's campaign.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a group
opposed to Hoffa, wrote Edelstein last week to point out that
while the IRB moved quickly to charge, and ultimately expel, Carey,
it has shown no sign of investigating Hoffa.
``We urge you to apply an even standard to
all Teamster officials and to take strong, immediate action on
the information that is before you,'' wrote Ken Paff, national
organizer for TDU.
Edelstein, who has been sharply critical
of Hoffa from the bench, forwarded the query to the IRB on Aug.
18, asking the board to inform him ``at the very earliest convenient
time'' what it intended to do.
The board is scheduled to meet on Sept. 10.
Edelstein oversees a 1989 consent decree
that the union signed with the Justice Department to avoid a federal
The IRB was established to root out corruption
in the union, and it reports to Edelstein. The three-member panel
is comprised of former federal judges Frederick Lacey and William
Webster and labor lawyer Grant Crandall. Its chief investigator
is former U.S. Attorney Charles Carberry.
Cherkasky's five-month investigation found
that Hoffa misrepresented nearly $44,000 in donations and received
prohibited in-kind support from an employer. But the election
officer said there was no evidence ``of large-scale cheating or
The timing of the rerun election is still
unknown, as the union and congressional Republicans continue to
haggle over who should foot the bill.
Hoffa has called a rally on the steps of
Teamsters headquarters for Monday morning when the union's executive
board convenes to consider paying more toward the cost of the
election. Board members have already voted down such measures
on two occasions.
© Copyright 1998 The Associated