Aug 17, 1998
NEW YORK (Reuters)
- A fund-raiser for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
pleaded guilty Monday to lying to federal investigators probing
illegal fund raising by the 1996 election campaign of former union
President Ron Carey.
Charles Blitz, who raised funds for Carey's
1996 re-election, pleaded guilty in federal court in New York
to a one-count charge that he misled a court-appointed election
officer overseeing the 1996 Teamster election.
He said he concealed a scheme in which wealthy
donors to Carey's campaign, ``Teamsters for a Corruption-Free
Union,'' were repaid with Teamster general treasury funds that
went to the donors' groups and organizations.
Carey won re-election, but his victory was
later reversed when the government uncovered the illegal fund
Federal labor law and Teamster election rules
bar the use of union funds for candidate campaigns.
Blitz, 45, of Santa Barbara, Calif., who
faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, is the fourth
person to plead guilty in the scheme. Martin Davis, a political
consultant; Jere Nash, manager of Carey's 1996 campaign; and Michael
Ansara, a telemarketer, previously pleaded guilty to various charges
stemming from the campaign. William Hamilton, the union's former
director of government affairs, is under indictment on charges
of participating in the schemes.
Since 1989, the government has supervised
Teamster elections under a consent decree intended to rid the
union of corruption and organized crime, and to provide for direct,
rank-and-file secret ballot elections by the membership for the
first time in Teamster history.
A new election to replace Carey has been
delayed by a dispute over whether the government should continue
to pay the costs of election supervision. A hearing on that case
is to be held Wednesday in federal court.Blitz is to be sentenced
by U.S. District Judge John Keenan Dec. 2.
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