IPSN Autumn, 1994
International Brotherhood of Teamsters General
President Ron Carey gave the boot to another Chicago metropolitan
Local official accused of wrong-doing. It is an old, and painfully
familiar story of greed, corruption, and arrogance within the
nation's largest and historically controversial labor union. The
reform-minded Ron Carey however, has sent a strong message in
recent months that he is intent upon purging organized crime figures
and their fellow travelers from the union, thereby attempting
to bring a screeching halt to a vicious, age-old cycle of corruption.
This was one of his major platforms when seeking the Teamster
presidency and his work is cut out for him.
Teamsters Local 714 - the Machinery, Scrap
Iron, Metal and Steel, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, Helpers, Alloy
Fabricators, Theatrical, Exposition, Convention, and Trade Show
Employees, controlled by William T. Hogan, Jr., may very well
suffer the same consequences as what recently befell his ousted
ally in Local 743, former president Robert Simpson, I.B.T. President
Carey and the ambitious, social-climbing Billy Hogan don't see
eye to eye.
And should the ax fall on hogan's head, it
will have tremendous impact on the well-being of 3,000 Department
of Corrections employees, and Sheriff's deputies presently represented
by the Hogan family's Local 714 - and its laughable "Law
Enforcement Division." Should they ever get out of little
Billy's local, they'll be far better off, and a stain will be
removed from their law enforcement careers.
Round One on the pathway to reform: An oversight
committee investigated and audited 172 Teamster Locals and Joint
Councils suspected of involvement with, or tinged by organized
crime and its influence. When work was completed (although investigations
were still ongoing), charges were filed against 214 individuals
and three Locals (nationwide) tainted by the stigma of organized
Eleven Chicago-based Teamster Locals, including
703, 705, = 710, 727, 738, 743, 753, 781, 786, 777, Hogan's "family"
Local 714 and Joint Council 25 had their books and records examined
and audited by the Investigations Office. Sixty-four Teamster
officials permanently resigned, another 53 were suspended for
a period of time, and 27 others signed an agreement to make restitution
to the union and three locals changed their bylaws.
The recent suspension of Robert Simpson,
President of Teamster Local 743, representing 20,000 office support
workers, librarians, clerks, and tradesmen, is an offshoot of
the earlier investigations. Simpson was suspended because he had
allowed former President Donald Peters (his mentor and the real
power with the Local), to continue to draw a salary and chart
policy within Teamster circles in defiance of a 1989 consent decree
which barred him from any future activity within the union that
has been long overdue for house cleaning.
Don Peters served as President of Local 743
for 40 years before stepping down as a part of a court- approved
settlement with the U.S. Government calling for him to "permanently
retire" from all positions within the union. He was a well-connected
powerhouse and an important cog in Teamster operations both in
Illinois and nationally as a former International Vice President.
According to Angelo Lonardo, a Cleveland
crime "L.C.N." figure who related a conversation between
underboss Jackie Cerone and Joey Aiuppa, Don Peters was one teamster
Don Peters also enjoyed close ties to both
Hogan and the murdered financial brain - insurance handler and
behind the scenes political fixer, Allen Dorfman. Peters built
his obscure, 350-member Local to more than 35,000 during its heyday.
It is the largest in the Teamsters Union.
After bowing out and telling all he was stepping
aside, Peters tabbed Robert Simpson, long-time organizer and Vice
President to become his anointed successor. At the time, Simpson
was the highest ranking African American to head a Teamsters Local
in Illinois. Simpson's sense of mis- guided loyalty to Peters,
his "eminence griese" would ultimately cost him his
Local 743, and Peters' involvement with organized
crime heavyweights such as Joey Lombardo, Dominic Senese, and
the late Allen Dorfman to name a few, date back many years.
His automobile was parked in the driveway
of Dorfman's residence in Riverwoods, Illinois, hours after Dorfman
was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Lincolnwood Hyatt
Hotel in 1983. What the vehicle was doing there at the time of
Dorfman's demise, one can only surmise. The Allen Dorfman hit
was big time. How many other Mafia "hits" in this country
are featured on Ted Koppel's Nightline program?
The two men were known to be close personal
friends, and Peters assisted Allen's continuance as the health
and welfare fund's administrator even after Dorfman was convicted
of conspiracy and wire fraud in 1972. Dorfman was always recognized
as a man to be seen when it came to pension loans and manipulative
activities within the Fund. He was the main man to get things
done for the "wise guys" and when he proved to be a
potential threat to their well-being he was assassinated. Some
say - and they are knowledgeable sources Frankie Schweihs was
the gunman who pulled off the neat and clean hit for his friend
During the course of the federal investigation
into an attempt on the part of Lombardo, Chicago's strongest mob
guy, along with the now deceased I.B.T. President Roy Williams,
and various other Mafia leaders from across the U.S. to bribe
Senator Howard Cannon of Nevada in return for his vote on a trucking
de-regulation bill, the partnership between Peters, Joey Lombardo,
and Dorfman was exposed through massive electronic surveillance.
At the time, Peters was overheard bragging to Lombardo that he
had "control" over his Local delegates' votes at the
Teamsters convention. Control used to make sure national presidents
were their kind of guys.
The late Dominic Senese survived a 1988 ambush
assassination attempt on his life - he was protected at that time
by the Special Operations Associates (S.O.A.) private security
firm run by former Sheriff and Chicago Police Superintendent James
O'Grady, and his bumbling sidekick Jimmy "the Bohemian"
Dvorak. Prior to being removed from the presidency of Local 703,
Senese was permanently barred from union activity because of his
ties to la Cosa Nostra. Senese once describes his high regard
for Don Peters during a deposition given in his civil RICO case;
"We love, we have respect. We are not hypocrites. I love
somebody. I love him...I love the man and I mean it with my heart.
That is all I can say about that."
On two occasions, Peters ran for Joint Council
25 office on the same slate with the now departed Dominic Senese.
Through information supplied to the government by former I.B.T.
President Jackie Presser, it was learned that Peters and Anthony
Lapiana, Jr., a member of the Detroit crime family, badgered Presser
to name Senese a teamster organizer. This would mean more salary
for the man. However, in 1990 Dominic Senese was barred from the
Teamsters Union when an independent administrator found that he
was indeed a member in good standing of the Chicago Outfit.
Tainted by his hoodlum alliances, Donald
Peters quietly stepped down in favor of his protégé,
the hand-picked Simpson, who now finds himself boiling in hot
water for allowing Peters to receive title to a car paid for with
local funds, and other perks that stand in violation of the aforementioned
Simpson, who assumed the presidency of Local
743 in 1988 vowing to "do the things he taught me well,"
was never much more than a Peters point man and he knew it. The
IPSN was told recently that Peters continued to attend all executive
board meetings and business went on as usual until Ron Carey placed
Local 743 into a trusteeship. Peters was reimbursed for "consulting"
expenses by Local 743, "while traveling and representing
the interest of Local 743 and its members."
Simpson was cognizant of the terms of the
Peters settlement agreement when he allowed his mentor to carry
on in defiance of the order. I.P.S.N. learned that Simpson was
provided with a copy of the document in May 1989, by none other
than Marvin Gittler, Esq., Don Peter's attorney, and the long-
time legal brain to Chicago P.D.'s Fraternal Lodge 7, of the F.O.P.
during the reign of its ex- president, the erstwhile John Dineen.
Gittler also represented other Teamsters in trouble; Dominic Senese's
son Lucien, the Secretary Treasurer of Local 703, and William
Raimondi, and James Bertino. The Teamsters were a major Gittler
client, have been for a long time, and still were wt the time
of the rigged Chicago Police-Jane Byrne collective bargaining
Teamster money paid for luncheon meetings
between Gittler, Simpson, Peters, and other Teamster officials
at Eli's, Gene & Georgetti's, the La Gondola, and other famous
Chicago eateries during the time the decree was in full force.
The establishments they dined at are some of Chicago's most popular
eateries for the city's "in crowd."
Robert Simpson, it should be noted, sided
with the William McCarthy faction when the (then) incumbent Teamster
President was first challenged by an insurgent faction led by
Ron Carey. Simpson ran for a trusteeship in December 1991 on the
McCarthy slate. However, Carey was elected General President in
the first national election which allowed rank-and-file participation.
To the victor goes the power, and Carey has been exercising that
power quickly and precisely. Most observers of the Teamsters wholeheartedly
agree it is needed and long over-due, but his enemies will not
let go without a fight.
Carey's expedious move to oust Simpson when
he did, continues his campaign to jettison influence- peddling
Teamster officials allied with outfit figures from within and
outside this tumultuous union that has a reputation for sweetheart
deals overseen by "connection guys."
Ahead: a much more formidable adversary in
the Chicago-based Joint Council 25 and Teamsters Local 714, and
the onerous influence against reform within the Teamster's union
wielded by the dexterous William T. Hogan, Jr., who was groomed
within the union movement by his daddy. A good paying job was
his goal and not that of the working man's well being.
Hogan draws a handsome salary of $268,000
a year in his dual capacity as secretary-treasurer of Local 714,
and as president of Joint Council 25, making him the second highest
paid Teamster leader in the country. The Joint council under this
reign comprises 25 Chicago-based Locals - and was formerly headed
by his father and teacher, William hogan, Sr., a member of the
Teamsters Union since 1929. Hogan, Sr. sounded Local 714 in 1949
and its power base has traditionally been the McCormick Place
Exhibition facility and its strong ties to the Mayor of the City
of Chicago - both junior and senior - and two of the other three
in between. The younger hogan, who is feeling top Teamster reform
heat emanating our of Washington, controls several billion dollars
of assets in one way, shape, form or another, through Joint Council
25 which represents about 120,000 rank and- filers who have known
union democracy only as an outsider to the process. This tidy
amount of union member's money is by anyone's standards a compelling
reason for Carey to rein in the ambitious Hogan who he views as
an impediment to the membership's well being in the Chicago metropolitan
area and for that mater throughout the International. It can be
assumed that Carey doesn't like Hogan's national machinations
and past ties at all.
The senior William Hogan by name is a former
steelworker, retires from his I.B.T. career in 1990. His son James,
Billy's brother, presently serves as the president of Local 714
which still has a large contract over McCormick Place. As an aside,
McCormick Place provides security jobs to...you guessed it...Special
Operations Associates security firm O'Grady's baby. Another Hogan
progeny, Robert, serves as a business agent. Hogan, Sr. took control
of Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 in November 1986, following
the death of the strong-willed ally of Daley the Elder, Louis
F. "Louie" Peick, the old-line boss of Local 705.
In the 1970s (then) Mayor Richard J. Daley,
appointed Peick to the sensitive position on the Chicago Police
Board to maintain the good will of this influential joint Teamster
Council, and of course control over the tin blue line. Local 705
is also one of the nation's largest, most powerful Teamster Locals
in the country whose political clout extends from the Washington
beltway to the "man on five" as the mayor's office is
often referred to in Chicago folklore.
Peick controlled Joint Council 25 for nearly
two decades until his death in 1986. In 1979 he turned back an
electoral challenge from the "wise guy's" choice, Dominic
Senese, who had long enjoyed close ties to the late Tony Accardo
the friendship of the Hogans, who had appeared before the U.S.
Senate Rackets Committee in 1959.
Peick departed this world in 1986, and William
Hogan, Sr. replaced him as President of the powerful Joint Council
25. The elder Hogan hung on to the presidency until he voluntarily
stepped down due to the complication of old age in November 1988.
Four years later Billy Hogan, Jr. assumed the presidency after
Dan Ligurotis left. Local 714, and Joint Council 25 have remained
a Hogan :family affair" ever since and a bastion against
the reform movement of President Carey. To Billy's credit, though
diminutive in size, he is large on sensing and securing political
and economic power.
Little Billy challenged Carey's national
reform slate of candidates in a historic democratic election for
that union held back in 1991. He ran for vice-president on a ticket
headed by R.V. Durham, the hand-picked successor the (then) Teamster
President William McCarthy, whose scandal-plagued regime ended
disastrously when the government accused him of appointing known
mobsters to key Teamster committees - a monotonous refrain. Durham
lost the Teamster presidential election to Carey, and its bee
clean-up time ever since he took over and it appears Hogan is
on Carey's "has to go" reform list.
Earlier this year the fast-moving Carey whose
opponents have been throwing dirt at them since assuming office,
smartly removed Hogan as director of the Convention and Trade
Show Division as possibly the first step toward eliminating the
Hogan - "family" control over Local 714 - long associated
with organized crime figures. One wonders why the present Mayor
Daley does not take notice of friend Hogan's problems and past.
What happens in the next few months with
respect to Carey's Teamster reform efforts means a good deal to
the 3,000 D.O.C. officers and Sheriff's deputies in the Cook County
Sheriff's Office, represented by Local 714 in a "sweetheart"
relationship with the past Sheriff's administration and specifically
the corrupt James O'Grady-Jimmy Dvorak tenure.
Since the early 1970s when the Teamsters
first began a push to organize law enforcement officers as a means
to swell membership roles and exert influence over a possible
foe, their record of success in winning benefits, increasing pay,
and safeguarding the rights of the rank-and-file they hoodwinked,
has been dubious at best. At contract time when an election for
a new bargaining representative looms and Local 714's control
is in peril, Hogan has been known to throw his weight around to
ensure the perpetuation of the local's reign within the Cook County
Sheriff's office. Intimidation and scare tactics of pay and fringe
benefit losses are passed through to the rank-and-file officers
who are kept mostly in the dark about their collective bargaining
Cook County Correctional Officers toil under
a 1993 collective bargaining contract that was never ratified
by the rank-and-file membership; one that was "grandfathered"
in by Local 714 to thwart a new representative election. There
is widespread ambivalence among the D.O.C. Officers at 26th and
Cal toward their collective bargaining unit - Teamsters Local
714 and the well-heeled Hogans. In fact, there exists a downright
Speaking under the condition of anonymity,
a veteran correctional officer told the I.P.S.N. that Local 714
is "...in bed with Director J.W. Fairman," and the administration
"is calling all the shots." The iron-willed Fairman
has inspired widespread fear, loathing, and dislike, among the
3,000 correctional officers at 26th and Cal, since receiving his
political appointment from Sheriff Michael Sheahan, with the blessing
of the John Howard Association, a prison "watchdog"
The Teamsters entered the picture with the
assistance and compliance of two former Sheriffs, Richard Elrod
and James O'Grady. Their top people throughout the department
smoothed out the road for an eventual take-over by this infamous
Local which still controls one of the largest groups of law enforcement
officers in the U.S. - the Cook County Department of Corrections
and Sheriff's Deputies.
The organized crime tie-up of Local 714 surfaced
spectacularly in the early 1970s. The roster of hoods holding
down lucrative high-paying jobs at McCormick Place through Local
714 which controlled the exhibitors and tradesmen employed there,
read like a "Who's Who" Blue Book of Chicago organized
crime. Ernest "Rocco" Infelise, who headed a menacing
Chicago mob street crew until his conviction on murdering and
racketeering charges sent him away for 63 years, found gainful
employment at the lakefront exposition hall through his 714 ties.
Ties that bind.
The "Rock" also figured prominently
in the criminal activities of O'Grady's henchmen, most specifically
his undersheriff, the convicted felon James Dvorak and the Cook
County Police and Correctional Merit Board. Other Local 714 payrollers
at that time, who were not employed by McCormick Place, but involved
in dope dealing, price gouging, and shakedowns at the lakefront
exposition center while working at Local 714 and the Hogan's behest
included Rocco "the Parrot" Potenza, former mob gambling
boss of the Northwest suburbs: convicted heroin dealer and a "made"
guy, "Americo Pete" DePietto; Wayne Bock, a former professional
football player with the Chicago Cardinals turned hit-man for
the mob; Charles "Specs" DiCaro, ex-cartage thief and
gambler, tied in with dope peddler Mario Garelli and South Side
rackets boss Ralph Pierce, who, for many years, ran the self-styled
"connection guys." The connection guys greased the palms
of the politicians, judges, labor leaders and political officials.
The late Ralph Pierce was aligned to John
D'Arco and Pat Marcy, the First Ward "fixers" with the
ability to influence the outcome of murder cases for the right
price, as was proven during the operation Gambat investigations
of the late 1980s.
Pierce was close to Sam Giancana, tony Acardia
and was the "guy to see" for favors in Las Vegas. Need
a hotel "comp?" Call Pierce. Wanna know in advance the
outcome of a title fight? Call Pierce. He was at your service.
Ralph is gone now, but he is hardly forgotten.
David Kaye (nee: Kaminski), chief steward
and business agent for Local 714 and "one helluva guy!"
by Hogan's own words, was sentenced to prison following his conviction
on 73 counts of extortion. He was called the "dictator"
of service contractors at McCormick Place during the nine years
he worked as chief steward. Guys like Kaye give decent labor officials
a hard road to hoe but maintain a "status quo" for the
local's hierarchy. They also get money and instill fear.
The aforementioned organized crime figures
- Infelise, DePietto, DiCaro, Potenza, Bock, and Garelli - were
routed from their hobs at McCormick Place after the F.B.I. began
In 1975, Local 714 made its opening move
of organizing the Chicago Police Department into its arms, but
was thwarted by the efforts of CCPA's President John J. Flood,
who was successful in blocking the politically sanctioned gambit,
and also by the sudden death of Mayor Richard J. Daley who had
sanctioned their move. Daley, who maintained a customary "hand-off"
policy toward the activities of the big labor unions during his
four terms of office, departed form his usual practice by entering
into a handshake agreement with Peick, and Ray Schoessling, then
the director of the Central States Conference of Teamsters to
deliver the police employees of the city into the hands of Local
714. One might was well turn the employees over to friends.
The Teamster plan of Local 714 to bring the
Chicago Police Department under its control had to be put on hold
for another five years after Daley's passing.
A collective bargaining election that was
blatantly rigged in favor of the Teamsters by former Mayor Jane
Byrne occurred five years later. The Hogan family believed they
had 10,000 Chicago cops in their hip pocket - the election pro
forma based on the back-room machinations of Byrne, and moved
along nicely by (then) Superintendent Richard Brzeczek. Things
didn't work out according to plan after the C.C.P.A. took actions
with the representative election and fought the Hogan's onslaught
and thusly, F.O.P. Lodge 7 lucked out and narrowly won the right
to run in the general election against the city's "no union"
position by only 174 votes. But F.O.P. and John Dineen were also
a friend to the politicos. Yes, 174 votes kept the Chicago P.D.
from little Billy Hogan's grasp. Most people don't know that but
it's true. Flood was the guy who did it and Billy knows that well.
He doesn't like Flood who doesn't particularly care that Billy
doesn't like him.
Hogan has polished the civic apple of political
friendship since those rough and tumble days. He currently serves
as chairman of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau by appointment
of the present Mayor and former State's Attorney, Richard the
Younger, who should have known better.
Now, let's take a look at some of Richie's
other friends and allies, namely, John Serpico, of the Central
States Joint Board Laborer's Union, and President of the Illinois
Regional Port Authority. Serpico's long-standing ties to Vince
Solano and other hoodlums who infiltrated the labor movement is
well-documented in his testimony before the President's Commission
on Organized Crime.
Eddie Hanley, President of the nationally
known and hoodlum manipulated Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees
International Union (HEREIU) is another of the Daley cognoscenti.
Hanley, you will recall, took the Fifth Amendment non-stop while
being grilled about his mob ties before a Senate Subcommittee
a few years back. Hanley's Atlantic City Local 54 signed a consent
decree with the government, effectively barring future activity
in the popular coastal gambling resort community because of ties
to the Angelo Bruno-Nicky Scarfo crime family of Philadelphia.
Eddie Hanley was one of Allen Dorfman's clients,
when Dorfman was alive and well and peddling insurance to his
union pals. Eddie is also one of Richie's point men on the downtown
casino project which looms over the horizon for Chicago.
The Convention and Tourism Bureau represents
1,500 members. His appointment is seen as a way of fending off
future labor troubles for the Daley guys when the $1 billion-dollar
McCormick Place expansion is completed in 1997 and all that added
convention business rolls into town.
Chairman hogan points with politically connected
civic pride to a "spirit of cooperation" existing between
the big trade shows coming into McCormick Place and the craftsmen
with set up the exhibitor booths. The practice of "shaking
down" convention exhibitors by Local 714 allies has vastly
diminished, we are told. Possibly the Kaye connection had an impact.
No more troublesome strong-arm problems exist to be contended
with. Everybody gets along. Hogan's got the workers tied in...for
now...and the Daley administration is hell-bent towards its legalized
Bob Simpson is gone now. He was particularly
vulnerable, and the decisive actions taken against Local 743 by
the International came on the heels of a similar action in the
locals when their leaders were ordered by a federal judge to step
down because of corruptive influences.
Ron Carey, as we are told, had recruited
many capable retired law enforcement officials including former
governmental investigators knowledgeable of Teamster past practices
to comprise local task forces charged with the responsibility
of rooting out the "bad seeds" left in the union. He
is going to need all the ability he can muster along with a good
deal of luck and maybe a bullet-proof vest.
Now, by present indications, it seems to be Billy Hogan's turn in the Carey hot seat. Let's wait for the shootout...or should we use that analogy?