Saturday, October 1, 1994
MARK PAZNIOKAS; Courant Staff Writer
A prominent labor leader pleaded not guilty
Friday to an eight-count indictment charging him with arranging
the investment of $8 million in union pension funds in return
for $345,000 in bribes.
Dominick Lopreato of Hartford, who has led
the laborers' construction union in Connecticut for a quarter-
century, entered his plea in a brief appearance in U.S. District
Court before Judge T.F. Gilroy Daly.
Jury selection was scheduled for Dec. 6.
His union, meanwhile, says that Lopreato
will retain his position as secretary-treasurer of the Connecticut
Laborers' District Council because Lopreato is accused of nothing
pertaining to his union office.
The indictment charges him with taking bribes
in return for helping arrange the investment in Colonial Realty
of $5 million by the Connecticut Laborers' pension fund and $3
million by an Albany, N.Y., laborers' union.
"Since the recent indictment . . . does
not allege any misconduct in his capacity as secretary-treasurer
of the Connecticut Laborers' District Council, the Council will
take no action at this time and will await the outcome of his
trial," the council said in a written statement.
Charles LeConche, the business manager of
the district council, said Lopreato will step down temporarily
from his unpaid position of union pension trustee. LeConche will
take his place.
Once this is resolved, I will resign and
he will go back on," LeConche said.
Lopreato also will retain his position as
business manager of Local 230, the Hartford affiliate of the Laborers.
His Hartford lawyer, Edward J. Daly Jr..
was joined Friday at the arraignment by another defense counsel,
Anthony Traini of Providence, who described himself as a solo
But Traini is associated with Coia and Lepore,
the firm of Arthur A Coia, the Laborers' national leader. A receptionist
at the firm's Providence office took a message for Traini and
described him as part of the firm
He's a big guy here," she said.
Traini said he was retained by Lopreato,
not the union. LeConche said the union is offering Lopreato no
financial assistance for his defense.
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