U.S. Department Of Justice

United Sates Attorney

Northern District of Illinois

Scott R. Lassar
United States Attorney
Federal Building
219 South Dearborn Street
5th Floor
Chicago Illinois 60604
(312) 353-5300


AUSA Craig Oswald (312) 886-9080

AUSA David Buvinger (312) 353-1110

PIO Randall Samborn (312) 353-5318


CHICAGO - The Justice Department today announced an extension of the four-year-old oversight agreement with the Laborers' International Union of North America, (LIUNA) until January 31, 2000. Under the original oversight agreement, which was-set to expire on January 31,1999, LIUNA has been permitted to pursue an internal reform program designed to remove the influence of organized crime from the union. In return, the Justice Department will refrain from filing a consent decree that would have court appointed officers responsible for reforming the union. Under the extension agreement, the Justice Department retains the discretion to implement the consent decree if the Assistant Attorney General reasonably believes that imposition of the decree is necessary to accomplish the reform of the union. The extension was announced by Attorney General Janet Reno, Scott B Lassar, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and James K. Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.

The original oversight agreement was signed in February of 1995, after the Justice Department served the union with a draft complaint threatening to implement reforms similar to those imposed by the consent decree entered into with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The original agreement was extended for an additional one year period in January 1998. The LIUNA oversight agreement has given the union the opportunity to create an internal reform system administered by former federal prosecutors and law enforcement agents to accomplish what court appointed officers did in the Teamsters case. The union has the incentive to achieve objective results in its reform effort because if the union is not successful, the consent decree can be implemented.

As a result of the union's intern reform program, the union has adopted in ethics and disciplinary code, has instituted reforms in the manner it assigns members to work, and has changed its contracting procedures. The union his placed entities in Chicago, Buffalo and New York City under trusteeship, and has launched investigative initiatives in Washington, D.C., New England, and New Jersey. In addition, LIUNA's General President, Arthur Coia, and International Vice-President Peter Fosco are currently charged with misconduct pursuant to LIUNA's internal disciplinary process.

The LIUNA oversight agreement produced the first ever contested, nationwide, direct rank and file election for LIUNA's principal officers. This election was supervised by an independent election team headed by Professor Stephen B. Goldberg from the Northwestern University School of Law- As part of the 1996 election, the rank and file membership overwhelmingly passed a referendum which gives members the right to elect all international officers by rank and file vote. The union has agreed that its next international election in 2001 will also be supervised by an independent officer.

LIUNA, which claims over 700,000 members and over 600 locals, is one of the nation's 10 largest labor unions. Law enforcement efforts have been focused on Chicago because organized crime in Chicago has traditionally controlled the international leadership of the Laborers

"While progress continues to be made, this extension recognizes that additional time is needed to complete efforts to eliminate corruption from the union," said Lassar. "This extension of the LIUNA oversight agreement gives this unprecedented experiment the chance to be successful and accomplish the goals of reform."


This Agreement is entered into this 4th day of January,1999 between the Laborers' International Union of North America (hereinafter referenced to as "LIUNA") and the United States of America, by and through James K. Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice, and Scott R. Lassar, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. This Agreement modifies the prior agreement of the parties dated February 13, 1995, supersedes the prior agreement of the parties dated January 14, 1998, and incorporates the contingent consent decree that was part of those agreements.

WHEREAS LIUNA and the United States have been parties to prior agreements entered into in good faith and intended to ensure that LIUNA and its affiliated entities are not subject to the corrupting influence of any member of organized crime;

AND WHEREAS LIUNA working in cooperation with the United States has adopted, implemented, and supported various internal reform programs which have enabled LIUNA to demonstrate and achieve substantial progress and commitment toward the goal of eliminating any such corrupting influence on LIUNA;

AND WHEREAS the parties have agreed to continue their formal, cooperative relationship for an additional period of time in order to continue such progress;

NOW THEREFORE, LIUNA and the United states agree in good faith as follows:

1. LIUNA will continue its internal reform efforts to investigate and discipline individuals within LIUNA or any of its affiliated entities pursuant to its Ethical Practices Code, as well as its other internal reform programs. During this period, the United States may provide any assistance allowed by law to LIUNA. The parties recognize and agree that all such internal reform must take into consideration reasonable budgetary constraints and priorities so as to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of these reform programs while also recognizing LIUNA's legitimate need to maintain other programs and services for members and affiliates and to operate in a fiscally sound and prudent manner consistent with applicable provisions of the LIUNA Constitution and with principles of fiduciary responsibility. LIUNA will inform and consult with the United States prior to making material changes in the internal reform budget.

2. This Agreement will take effect on February 1,1999, and shall continue to January 31, 2000. During this Agreement the United States shall not exercise its discretion to impose the consent decree unless the Assistant Attorney General reasonably concludes that the failure to impose the consent decree would substantially interfere with accomplishing the purposes of the Agreement, after giving LIUNA an opportunity to be heard.


s/Arthur A. Coia
General President

s/Michael S. Bearse

General Counsel

s/Robert D. Luskin
General Executive Board Attorney


s/James K. Robinson
Assistant Attorney General
Criminal Division
U.S. Department of Justice

s/Scott R. Lassar
United States Attorney
Northern District of Illinois

s/Frank J. Marine
Acting Chief
Organized Crime and
Racketeering Section
Criminal Division
U.S. Dept. of Justice

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