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
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
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.