New York Daily News

DA's Team Raids Unions In Tri-State Investigation

By Tom Robbins - Daily News Staff Writer
June 17, 1999

A team of more than 300 police and state investigators probing construction-industry corruption raided more than two dozen sites in three states yesterday, hauling away hundreds of boxes of records, officials said. Among the locations raided were three of the city's most powerful construction unions and the offices of a building contractor in New Jersey allegedly tied to the mob. Investigators also hit undisclosed locations in Connecticut, sources said.

The raids were launched by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who is probing widespread alleged employer payoffs to union officials, often with organized crime involvement, law enforcement sources said.

Police in blue Windbreakers arrived early yesterday at the Eighth Ave. offices of Local 608, the city's largest carpenters local. "There's nothing going on here. We've got no comment," said Maurice McGrath, an official of the local, as police stacked boxes of seized documents near the door. The Bronx office of Local 608 also was raided, officials said. In Linden, N.J., investigators raided the offices of S & S Contracting, a firm owned by Sara Riggi, daughter of John Riggi, reputed head of the New Jersey-based DeCavalcante crime family.

The Daily News reported in February that Local 608 officials allegedly ignored the use of dozens of nonunion workers by S & S Contracting in a multimillion-dollar renovation project at the Park Central Hotel on Seventh Ave. Sara Riggi declined comment yesterday. Investigators also went to the offices of the bricklayers union in Queens and Laborers Local 79 on W. 18th St.

"They are welcome to whatever they want. We are cooperating, and we have nothing to hide here," said Richard Weiss, a spokesman for the laborers union. Bricklayers union officials could not be reached.

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