by Laurel J. Sweet and Jack Sullivan
Friday, January 18, 2002
The troubles that Teamsters boss George Cashman and his union cronies have been running from may have caught up with them yesterday, but not before there were alleged outbursts of violence and the mingling with Hollywood's elite.
The president of Local 25, who is also a member of the Massachusetts Port Authority board of directors and a confidant of former Gov. Paul Cellucci, was named with four other people and three businesses in a laundry list of federal indictments unsealed yesterday.
Cashman pleaded innocent to embezzlement and other charges, but long before his appearance in U.S. District Court yesterday, he and other Local 25 members have been accused of other wrongdoings. Among them are:
A probe continues into possible corruption by Cashman and fellow Local 25 officials for allegedly strong-arming Hollywood filmmakers into hiring their members to work on the sets of numerous made-in-Massachusetts movies, including “The Perfect Storm,” “What's the Worst That Could Happen,” “Love Letters,” “Blown Away” and “Good Will Hunting.”
Cellucci denied any knowledge of such harassment, despite state film officials warning him in 1997 and 1998 that it was occurring.
Labor investigators have also interviewed movie and television producers and executives about their dealings with Boston Teamsters, sources said.
Fearing the heat would be turned up on a federal probe into his activities, Cashman allegedly snuffed a plan to murder a competing union member in August 2000 when she balked at Local 25 threats to remove her snack truck from the set of the Danny DeVito box-office bomb, “What's the Worst That Could Happen.”
Instead, sources told the Herald, Cashman, 53, of Revere, agreed to have Susan Christy of Foxboro beaten up “to send (her) a message.”
When Christy complained to police, Local 25 fired her alleged attacker, Bartley Small, sources said.
According to state records, a competing union member was beaten up by three Teamsters on the set of “Cider House Rules.”
Local 25's film crew boasts its own cast of memorable characters - chief among them being crew leader James Flynn of Weymouth, a reputed mob associate.
His supporting cast includes Hell's Angels, murderers and hold-up men, as well as a disgraced former Middlesex County sheriff and a convicted cop.
They were all allegedly tapped to work on films over longtime union members. Cellucci, again, denied knowing Cashman was affiliated with ex-convicts.
Flynn, who has a lengthy record of violent crimes and is a reputed associate of fugitive mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger and his partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, is under investigation for allegedly coercing film producers to rent equipment from his own company, Location Connection.
Sources have also told the Herald that Flynn padded the payroll of film crew members and added additional unnecessary expenses and hires, including his own daughter.
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