A former Connecticut Laborers'
union official has responded to the recent agreement where, the
Justice Department [DOJ], instead of pursuing a 1995 civil racketeering
lawsuit,allows the Laborers' International Union of North America
[LIUNA] to continue to clean up its own house under an "Operating
Retired [Hartford Local 230]
Vice-President Stephen Manos [in a January 24, 2000 letter to
DOJ criminal division head James Robinson] takes issue with Federal
officials describing themselves as " so pleased with the
union's own cleanup efforts that the government was giving up
its option to run the Laborers".
The letter also pointedly disputes
the claim by the union's hand-picked in-house-prosecutor Robert
Luskin that "five years since these reform programs were
first adopted, LIUNA has made extraordinary strides in eliminating
the influence of organized crime & corruption."
Recently retired LIUNA General
President Emeritus Arthur A. Coia [at an annual salary of $335,000,
courtesy of his hand picked Executive Board] was described in
the 1995 RICO complaint as controlling the union through "force,
violence & fear of physical & economic injury to create
a climate of intimidation & fear."
Manos is one of three Connecticut
Plaintiffs in a federal racketeering lawsuit [397 CV 002502 JCH]
filed in December, 1997 involving RICO [Racketeer Influence &
Corrupt Organizations Act] & naming the following Defendants:
Named as Wrongdoers in the Connecticut RICO:
Laborers' International Union of North America [LIUNA];
Laborers' Local 230, Hartford ,Connecticut;
Robert Luskin, LIUNA General Executive Board Attorney;
Vere O. Haynes, LIUNA 3rd Vice-President;
Dominick Lopreato, former Local 230 Business Manager;
John Pezzenti, Local 230 Secretary/Treasurer;
Charles LeConche,Local 230 Business Manager;
Robert Cheverie, Union Attorney, Cheverie & Associates;
Michael Bearse, LIUNA General Counsel;
Frank Freeman, Local 230 Vice-President;
Harriet Roman, Local 230 Office Secretary/ Dispatcher.
Arthur A. Coia, LIUNA General President Emeritus;
Peter Vaira , LIUNA Independent Hearing Officer;
Janet Reno, U.S. Attorney General;
W. Douglas Gow, LIUNA Inspector General.
77 Hale Road
Glastonbury, CT 06033
James Robinson, AUSA, D O J
Organized Crime & Racketeering Section
101 G Street N.W.
Washington DC 20538
RE: NY Times, January 21, 2000,
Union Cleanup Praised; U.S. Oversight Eased
The second-to-last paragraph
of the above-referenced article states:
"Robert Luskin, the Laborers'
in-house-prosecutor, said "In the five years since these
reform programs were first adopted, LIUNA has made extraordinary
strides in eliminating the influence of organized crime &
On behalf of myself, &
the other two undersigned parties, I wish to state, on the record,
that this is completely contradictory to the facts occurring in
the District & Commonwealth of Connecticut.
I am writing as a long-term
member & former officer of [Hartford Connecticut] Laborers'Local
230 in the District & Commonwealth of Connecticut. In those
capacities, I have been subjected to threats, harassment &
intimidation on job sites & at union meetings.
In fact, on July 30, 1997 while
attending an Executive Board Meeting of Local 230, I was physically
assaulted by union officers & in the presence of the 3rd Vice-President
of LIUNA, a signatory to the DOJ/LIUNA Operating Agreement].
In excess of seven hundred
mailings emanated from the Business Manager [In concert with the
Local 230 Executive Board, & LIUNA Vice-President Vere O.
Haynes] stating that I fabricated the assault.
I subsequently reported this
vicious assault to The FBI.
I also testified, in regard
to this assault, before the United States Congress on May 4, 1998.
As a direct result of these
& other actions I was sued by the Business Manager of Local
398 CV 00489 AWT
As incredulous as it sounds,
turning over evidence to the FBI & testifying before Congress
were listed as actual counts in the Business Manager's lawsuit.
This lawsuit caused a letter
to be sent from Chairman Harris Fawell [U.S. House Subcommittee
on Education & The Workforce] warning LIUNA General President
Arthur A. Coia about retaliation perpetrated against myself by
I overcame the economic consequences
of hiring an attorney by presenting a clear fact-pattern as a
Pro Se Defendant thereby causing the Business Manager to withdraw
his extortionate lawsuit.
However, fear still permeated
the union membership, & in fact carried over into the Local
230 election in 1998.
I was forced to leave the union
for fear of my physical safety & economic loss.
I started as a witness/ victim
in a Civil RICO case [397 CV 02502 JCH] & am presently a Plaintiff
in the same instant case along with the two undersigned individuals
[ & a proposed plaintiff pending, Mr.. Gene Julian, ].
Your recent statement belies
the fact that the situation in the District & Commonwealth
Of Connecticut has, in fact, worsened under the purview of the
DOJ/LIUNA Operating Agreement.
As a 34 year member of Local
230, I give testimony to the fact that the situation in Connecticut
closely parallels the Balesano regime of the 1960's, where some
of those same officers are still officers now, & which totally
bankrupted Local 230.
I have experienced no remedial
effect from the Operating Agreement & no one has taken care
that the laws be faithfully executed.
William Cooksey Sr..
cc: Janet Reno