Hartford Courant News
MICHAEL REMEZ ; Courant Staff Writer
A Hartford labor leader tied to the Colonial
Realty Co. has given up the top job with the Connecticut Laborers
District Council, the umbrella group for state laborer locals.
Dominick Lopreato, longtime leader of the
state council and Hartford-based Local 230, stepped aside from
the council's business manager position Friday.
Charles LeConche, president of I Local 230
since 1978, was elected the same day to succeed Lopreato as business
Lopreato will keep the title of secretary-treasurer,
essentially the second in command at the council representing
about 8,500 workers across the state. He also continues to serve
as business manager for Local 230.
LeConche said Lopreato also will keep his
seat on the Connecticut Laborers Union Pension Fund.
LeConche said union leaders decided to separate
the two jobs that had been held by Lopreato -- business manager
and secretary-treasurer -- so as better to handle the increasingly
complex issues confronting the union.
He said the change in leadership was not
connected to investigations into Colonial.
The laborers pension fund invested $5 million
in two Colonial partnerships before the real estate syndicating
company went bankrupt in l990. The fund has filed a federal lawsuit
against Colonial, charging the company oversold bonds on the partnership
that owned the Gold Building in Hartford.
In a deposition for that case, Lopreato admitted
that he had received a $14,000 gold watch from a Colonial partner
about six weeks after the fund made its $3 million investment
in the Gold Building bonds. Lopreato said he returned the watch.
Lopreato testified that he believed Jonathan
Googel gave him the watch for helping Googel make contacts with
other union officials to try to sell them Colonial investments.
At least one other laborer's local -- one in Albany, N.Y. -- invested
millions of dollars in a Colonial bond issue after conferring
with Lopreato and others
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