October 13, 1995
The former head of one of Cleveland's largest
construction unions yesterday was barred from union activities
for five years and sentenced to four months of home detention.
Chester L. "Zip" Liberatore pleaded
guilty in August to accepting a gratuity from a contractor whose
workers are represented by his union, Local 310 of the Laborers
International Union of North America. He admitted accepting labor
and materials valued at $10,000 to $20,000 from a supervisor for
Independence Excavating Inc. for an addition to his Solon home
The suspension bars Liberatore, Local 310's
business manager for the past three years, from holding a union
office and from handling labor matters for an employer, including
Industrial Construction Inc., the company where he landed a job
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allan B. Levenberg
and Stephen G. Sozio argued for at least a five-year suspension,
instead of the mandatory minimum of three years, saying the charge
to which Liberatore pleaded guilty was not an isolated incident.
"The opportunity is there for corruption,"
Sozio said Liberatore, 37, also had acknowledged
he violated federal law in 1987 by having a contractor install
a brick driveway at his home at no charge.
And in a plea agreement, Liberatore acknowledged
that he accepted labor and materials for the construction of a
storage shed, internal walls in his basement, four glass block
windows, French doors and treated lumber for an extension to his
In addition to the suspension and home detention,
U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver fined Liberatore $5,000 and
placed him on probation for three years. He said Liberatore would
be allowed to leave his home to go to work during the home detention
Liberatore apologized to his family and members
of the local, which represents about 1,900 Cleveland-area workers.
"I loved my job. I loved my members,"
Liberatore told Oliver before he was sentenced. "But now
that's all behind me and I have to start a new life."
He resigned in July before pleading guilty.