NY Boss Resigns Over Ethics Violations

Laborers Int’l. Union of North America’s NY political action committee chairman Samuel Fresina resigned Aug. 6 after W. Neil Eggleston, LIUNA’s in-house appeals officer (and personal attorney for Bill Clinton and Labor Secretary Alexis Herman), upheld findings against Fresina for “ethical violations.” Fresina, not directly accused of mob ties, had his PAC give money to Genovese crime family associate Salvatore Lanza. The case revived allegations of Fresina’s ties to the Todaro crime family. The disciplinary action, brought by LIUNA’s in-house prosecutor Robert D. Luskin, bans Fresina from union office for 5 years and orders him to repay the PAC $50,000. But, recent questions about Luskin’s qualifications, motives and possible conflicts-of-interest raise concerns about his objectivity in this case. Fresina also resigned Aug. 13 as business manager of Albany’s Local 190. Apparently, no criminal or civil legal action has been taken against him. [Albany Times-Union 8/7/98 & 8/14/98]

Jailed Boss Loses $366K Appeal
On Aug. 17, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling forcing Michael L. Fisher, former President of the Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO, and a political consultant to forfeit $366,000 in illegal proceeds tied to a bribery case. The AFL-CIO boss is currently serving a 39-month prison term for his role in the scheme. The case brought down Bob Griffin, a Democrat who served as MO House Speaker for a record 15 years. Fisher and the consultant were convicted of paying bribes to Griffin in exchange for help in directing businesses to hire the two as political consultants. The court upheld Griffin’s 48-month and the consultant’s 50-month prison terms. [KC Star & St. Louis Post-Dispatch 8/18/98]

Hollywood Boss Indicted
Hollywood’s Int’l. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 45 allegedly had over $63,000 embezzled from it by business manager James E. Jackson. He was indicted Aug. 14 on 46 counts in U.S. District Court. According to court records, Jackson used IBEW’s credit card for unauthorized non-union purposes such as Caribbean cruise tickets, airline and hotel expenditures for family and friends, jewelry and a $3,200 fur coat. IBEW also paid his unauthorized auto allowances, expenses and insurance and paid 4 years of his adult daughter’s health insurance. [City News Service 8/14/98]