Newsday

 

 

Guilty Plea In Union Racketeering Case

 

June 9, 2004

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ A union steward accused with more than a dozen of his union colleagues of using strong-arm tactics to control Niagara County construction projects pleaded guilty Wednesday and agreed to cooperate against his co-defendants.

 

Brian Perry, 43, faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to racketeering conspiracy.

 

Perry admitted that he and other members of Laborers Local 91 used violence at a Niagara Falls hotel construction site where a truck driver was beaten and other contractors were intimidated in 1998. That same year, Perry admitted attacking four members of the Tilesetters Union at a supermarket job site, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

 

Perry, a member of the union since 1982, was indicted along with 13 others in 2002, elating Niagara County officials who said the union held a stranglehold on construction contracts and economic development in the county for 30 years. A 15th defendant was added later.

 

Authorities said the union, taking orders from its top officers, injured workers and destroyed property to control hiring by contractors and developers.

 

The union's business manager, Michael "Butch" Quarcini, who was among those charged, died last year. Perry's sentencing was set for Jan. 7.


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