The Boston Globe

Teamsters' Internal Fighting A Battle For The Union's Soul

By Robert A. Jordan, Globe Columnist

Sept. 14, 1997

Perhaps the most interesting document these days regarding organized labor is the Quindel Report, named after the federal election officer who nullified the 1996 reelection of Ron Carey as president of the Teamsters union, and ordered a new election.

The report, written by Barbara Zack Quindel, involves allegations of a money-laundering scheme in the Carey campaign, which eventually resulted in the call for the new voting.

But there is also a local angle. Much of the report involves people and companies in Massachusetts that were key in Quindel's decision. And now the call for a second election, which is under review, may lead to more woes for Carey.

Quindel has asked that a hearing on her ruling, scheduled for tomorrow morning, be postponed in light of new information that may determine whether Carey should be allowed to run at all.

If Carey is barred from running again, that may not be the end of his problems, either. A grand jury investigation in Washington is ongoing.

A group of people and a Somerville telemarketing company called Share Group have already been stung by the Quindel report because of their alleged involvement in the financial schemes that resulted in Quindel's voiding the election.

Quindel writes in her report, ''As the facts show, there were several schemes involved in the Carey campaign's fund-raising.'' She wrote that one involved ''contributions by spouses of Share Group executives.'' The contributions included $1,250 from Barbara Arnold, the wife of Michael Ansara, a former chief executive officer of Share Group. Ansara, who has since stepped down, has already pleaded guilty to money-laundering charges and said he would cooperate with the investigation.

In addition, Wendy Grossman, the wife of Evan Grossman, then-president of Share Group, contributed $1,000. And Susan Centofoni, wife of George Bachrach, then-vice president of Share Group and later acting CEO, contributed $250. These and other such contributions ''were prohibited because they were the direct result of employer solicitations.''

Although Ansara used the name Share Consulting, Quindel said that was'' just a name for his personal outside consulting work.'' Despite efforts by some in the Share Group to separate Ansara's Share Consulting from Share Group in the investigation, Quindel lumped them together in her ruling

The report said that Ansara, ''a key planner of the various schemes to funnel prohibited contributions into the Carey campaign,'' had used his companies to pay fraudulent invoices and transfer funds.

''Accordingly,'' her report continues, ''Mr. Ansara individually and his companies, Share Group and Share Consulting, are hereby barred from any further participation of any kind in the 1996 IBT [International Brotherhood of Teamsters] International officer election. '' Further, they are barred ''from any further work on behalf of the IBT or any IBT affiliate.''

These bars, the report goes on, apply not only to Ansara, Share Group, and Share Consulting ''but to any corporation, partnership, other entity or person in which Mr. Ansara has or will have any ownership interest or which will make any payment of any kind, directly or indirectly, to Mr. Ansara, Share Group or Share Consulting for any IBT-related work.'' The ruling also said that their right to conduct any IBT business in the future will be restored only after six years ''for good cause shown.''

''Finally,'' the report said, ''a substantial fine is necessary to remedy the misconduct of Mr. Ansara. While he eventually cooperated with the election officer and the US attorney in the investigation, his central role in the original scheme justifies further action.''

With that, Quindel jointly ordered Ansara, Share Group, and Share Consulting ''to pay a fine of $126,425 to an escrow account established by the election officer for this purpose to help defray the costs of are run election.''

Since the federal monitoring of the Teamsters election cost as much as $22 million, some observers estimate the next election would cost that, if not more.

Reports are circulating that if Carey is barred from running again, a state Teamsters official and Carey supporter, George Cashman, who is president of Teamsters Local 25 in Charlestown, may run against James Hoffa Jr

Even as the investigation into the 1996 campaign continues, the Teamsters under Carey called for a Massachusetts local to be placed under IBT trusteeship for alleged mismanagement. Allegations were circulating that a majority of the local supported Hoffa in the 1996 election, suggesting this was the reason for Carey's move against the local.

While the presidency of the Teamsters is at stake, the ongoing investigation suggests that the future of the Teamsters union itself maybe on the line. The Teamsters' future may be determined by the outcome of the intensifying internal political battle for its very soul.

Copyright 1997 Globe Newspaper Company.

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