‘Reform Effort’ Fails, Gov’t Orders New Election in Ohio

The U.S. Dep’t of Labor, not LIUNA’s “internal reform effort,” ordered a new election at LIUNA Local 423 in Columbus because vice-president Pat Murphy’s felony conviction 14 years ago made him ineligible for union office. Murphy was also wrongful elected to the local’s district council seat. Both elections will be rerun and monitored by DOL on Jan. 30. In 1984, Murphy was convicted of robbery and spent nearly 2 years in prison. The conviction meant Murphy was ineligible, under federal law, for union office until 1999. Opponents tried to make this point during the 1998 election, but a complaint by dissidents saying Murphy was a felon was rejected by LIUNA’s “internal hearing officer” Peter F. Vaira who is part of the failed “internal reform effort” team. Vaira suspiciously claims that his office was unable to substantiate the felony conviction. Thankfully for dissidents, DOL investigated and chose to exercise its authority to rule on union elections. [Columbus Dispatch 12/10/98]