Labor Voice

January 25, 2000

Retired Official Challenges Deal By U.S. Justice & Laborers' Union

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 Agreement".

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:

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.

Named as Wrongdoers in the Connecticut RICO:

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.

Steve Manos
77 Hale Road
Glastonbury, CT 06033

James Robinson, AUSA, D O J
Organized Crime & Racketeering Section
101 G Street N.W.
Suite 300
Washington DC 20538

RE: NY Times, January 21, 2000, Union Cleanup Praised; U.S. Oversight Eased

Dear Sir,

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 & corruption.'"

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 230.

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 Coia associates.

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.

Sincerely Yours,

Stephen Manos
Gary Wall
William Cooksey Sr..

cc: Janet Reno

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