Hoffa Running Mate, Potter, Barred

James P. Hoffa’s victory as Teamsters president was cleared for certification Jan. 28 by Michael G. Cherkasky, the court-appointed election monitor, after a delay due corruption charges against Hoffa slate members. But Cherkasky did bar Hoffa running mate J.D. Potter of Tex. from assuming his vice-president seat on the Teamsters board. Potter was charged with with lying about breaking donation limits. Union rules limited Potter to giving $5,000 to Hoffa’s campaign, and he said that an additional $5,000 he gave came from other members. He also claimed that the original bills (U.S. dollars) they gave him were still in his car, and he produced $4,700 in cash from his trunk. But 13 of the bills were not in circulation at the time he claimed to have collected them. [A.P. 1/28/99]

Buffalo Boss’ Libel Suit Dismissed
Teamsters Local 449 boss Bruce W. LeRoy’s $200,000 libel suit against his local dissidents was dismissed Jan. 22.  A N.Y. state judge said that dissidents’ campaign material calling LeRoy a “thief” in the 1996 election was permissible. Carl Monti, LeRoy’s chief opponent, hailed the decision as a victory that will protect dissidents’ right to criticize union bosses: “This is all about intimidation (and) misuse of power.” Defending the lawsuit has cost Monti and the seven other defendants over $30,000 in legal fees. The suit was based on a campaign flyer that the group distributed saying “Fact: Bruce stole money from our treasury…” The source of charge was an extra $50 a week in pay that LeRoy took during 1996 after being designated the union’s “principal officer.” It was later determined that the premium pay was proper, but a Teamsters regional organization admonished LeRoy for taking over the local prematurely. [Buffalo News 1/25/99]

Hoekstra’s Scrutiny to Continue
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and his Oversight Subcommittee’s report detailing its 12-month probe of the scandal-ridden Teamsters’ 1996 election is due in Feb. The report’s findings and recommendations are based on 40 witnesses and 100 depositions. Hoekstra spokesman Matt Tallmer said the release of the report wouldn’t end the subcommittee’s scrutiny of the Teamsters. He added that they found “shortcomings” in government monitoring of the Teamsters that could apply to other unions and require more hearings. [BNA 1/22/99]