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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 3, 2000
For Influential Leaders &
Important Decision Makers: Information on America's most corrupt
& aggressive unions
The Dep't of Justice and the
Laborers' Int'l Union of No. Am. have been meeting behind closed
doors to determine the next phase of DOJ's five-year quasi-oversight
agreement with LIUNA that expires Jan. 31, 2000. The Feb. 1995
agreement stopped DOJ from filing a racketeering suit against
LIUNA and created LIUNA's failed "internal reform effort."
The initial deal was to end in 1998, but DOJ and LIUNA have extended
it for one-year in 1998 and 1999.
Reportedly, some type of DOJ
oversight will continue, but DOJ and LIUNA have declined to give
any details. According to the ethically-challenged Robert D. Luskin,
LIUNA's "in-house prosecutor," "everybody is feeling
comfortable with the atmosphere and direction" of the DOJ-LIUNA
meetings. A decision is expected in early Jan.
LIUNA general counsel Michael
S. Bearse, said the so-called internal reform effort has "accomplished
what we said it would do." According to Bearse, both sides
want "reasonable reassurances" that the so-called progress
of the reform effort will continue -- it is just a matter of "agreeing
on the mechanism." [Engineering News-Rec. 12/20/99]
Prediction: With ex-president
Arthur A. Coia ousted and DOJ involved in racketeering suits against
LIUNA Local 210 in Buffalo and the Chicago Laborers Dist. Council
(which were all prime targets of the 1994 draft-RICO), DOJ may
calculate that LIUNA's reform effort is of little use and effectively
dispense with this defective oversite agreement.
Court Upholds Failed "Internal
Reform Effort" The U.S. 7th Cir. Court of Appeals Dec. 17
rejected a challenge by the Chicago Laborers Dist. Council to
LIUNA's authority to place it under a trustee's control. Saying
that CLDC failed to demonstrate LIUNA had targeted it for unwarranted
discipline, the court called CLDC's argument that LIUNA acted
in "bad faith" in imposing the trusteeship "meritless."
CLDC was placed in trusteeship in Feb. 1998. The court also rejected
CLDC's claims that LIUNA's Ethics & Disciplinary Procedure,
which was established in 1995 under a controversial agreement
between LIUNA and DOJ, was improperly enacted. The same court
previously upheld the EDP and the LIUNA-DOJ scam.
The ethically-challenged Robert
D. Luskin, LIUNA's "in-house prosecutor," said he wasn't
surprised by the ruling. "We are long past the point where
there are arguments about the scope of our authority or the validity
of our mission," Luskin bragged. "In five years, we
have not lost so much as a motion in district court." Luskin
filed a complaint against CLDC in June 1997 alleging the body
had been under the control of Chicago crime bosses for at least
25 years. Peter Vaira, LIUNA's "in-house judge," endorsed
the action, arguing that a trusteeship was necessary to expel
the influence of organized crime, etc. Tainted labor attorney
Robert E. Bloch was appointed trustee.
CLDC refused Bloch access to
its building. LIUNA and Bloch eventually gained a restraining
order, barring CLDC and its board from interfering with the trusteeship.
CLDC filed a counterclaim and LIUNA sought summary judgment. Among
other things, CLDC alleged an improper relationship between Luskin
and disgraced ex-boss Arthur A. Coia. CLDC also alleged it was
a disciplinary strike against CLDC boss Bruno Caruso, who had
run against Coia. U.S. Dist. Judge James B. Moran sided with LIUNA.
On appeal, CLDC argued that it was the victim of a tainted hearing
process and that LIUNA's "bad faith" and "unclean
hands" precluded summary judgment. U.S. Appeals Judge John
L. Coffey found such arguments meritless.
CLDC attorney Allan A. Ackerman
described the ruling as "misguided." He noted that the
court ignored arguments pertaining to LIUNA's ability to oust
CLDC officers democratically elected by its membership. He said
CLDC is considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on that
issue and the issue of bad faith. Luskin pledged, "You'll
see me push a peanut down State Street with my nose if cert is
granted in this case." [BNA 12/23/99]
Teamsters Closer to Filing Long-Awaited RICO Suit The Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters are close to filing a civil suit under the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act against disgraced ex-boss Ron Carey for his role in the 1996 money laundering scandal that ejected him from the union. Other defendants may include the AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Richard L. Trumka and Democratic Nat'l Committee for their respective roles in the schemes. Trumka is alleged to have steered AFL-CIO funds to the Carey campaign; he took the Fifth when called before federal investigations. Federal prosecutors have alleged the DNC was also funneling money to Carey. The suit will seek to recover about $3 million in union funds spent as a result of Carey's 1996 reelection. [Time 12/27/99]