Pittsburgh Tribune Review


Another FOB falls

McNickle Editorial

As if questions raised by events surrounding those addressed in today's lead editorial aren't eye-popping enough, there are yet more questions worthy of a congressional or a judicial look-see involving the Clinton administration on another matter. It involves the case of Arthur A. Coia.

Mr. Coia was the embattled president of the 750,000-member Laborers International Union of North America. We say was because Coia "retired" last week. We place retired in quotation marks because his departure comes two months after union and federal officials said he would step down as part of a deal in which he would plead guilty to fraud charges in a car sales tax scheme but get no prison time.

Coia, 56, was one of labor's biggest Friends of Bill. In fact, the president and Mrs. Clinton remained quite cozy with Coia even after being told by the FBI in late 1994 that "Coia is a criminal associate of the New England Patriarca organized crime family," had been the subject of past criminal investigations and was the target of an ongoing civil racketeering probe.

We continue to find it odd how the Justice Department investigation began evaporating soon thereafter. Instead of proceeding with a case that would have led to union seizure, the government allowed an internal "housecleaning." A union hearing officer cleared Coia of any organized crime ties in March.

The Clintons likely hope this matter will go away now that Coia has "retired." Congress and/or a brave U.S. Attorney somewhere need to dash those expectations.


Return to Laborers.org

(c) All orginal work Copyright Laborers.org 1998. All rights reserved..