New York Reformers Booted by Boss Newman

Reforms of the mob-ridden N.Y. Dist. Council of Carpenters, launched in Jun. 1996 by the United Bhd. of Carpenters, may have been derailed. The reforms began with UBC president Douglas McCarron ousting the council’s corrupt boss, Frederick Devine, who was convicted in Aug. 1998 on embezzlement charges. Other corrupt bosses were replaced with rank-and-filers as business agents. But recently, three reformers have been fired reportedly because they did their jobs too well. “I was told I wasn’t a team player,” said reformer Mike Bilello who was fired after he removed several shop stewards for illegal work.

William Keating was told the same in Jan. by UBC supervisor Roger Newman. “He told me, ‘You’re just not on the team.’ I said, ‘I visit twice as many [construction] jobs as anyone else.’ He says, ‘There you go again, you act like you’re a superstar.'” Keating says he saw “lots of dirty deals” in his assigned area.

In Jun., Pat O’Neill found a contractor engaging in major contract violations. The union agent in charge of overseeing the contractor, Martin Devereaux, told O’Neill he hadn’t reported the violations because the firm was “a gangster” type. The firm, S&S Contractors, Inc., is owned by Sara Riggi, daughter of John Riggi, reputed boss of the DeCavalcante crime family. It lists John Riggi’s former home as its address. O’Neill fired Devereaux for being derelict in his duties. But after Newman took over as UBC supervisor last Fall, Newman rehired Devereaux, over the objections of the council’s court-appointed overseer Kenneth Conboy. Then Newman fired O’Neill. [Daily News 2/15/99]