New York Bosses Exchange Charges

Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 810 in N.Y. appears to be on the verge of a corruption war. President Louis Smith recently fired his ex-ally Pat Monaco as union business agent claiming Monaco misused his union credit cards. Monaco denied the charge and retorted that Smith was retaliating for Monaco’s corruption charges of Smith including alleged sweetheart employer contracts. Investigators reportedly seized Local 810’s records the last week of Feb.

Smith and Monaco started their stints as bodyguards for ex-boss Dennis Silverman. In 1993, the two turned on Silverman. He was ousted and the union placed in trusteeship. In 1995, the two were elected to union posts. Smith’s background includes an alleged 1983 beating of a Carpenters union boss and a 1988 weapons conviction. [Daily News 3/1/99]

Hoffa Campaign’s Fine Upheld
The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 23 that Teamsters president-elect James P. Hoffa’s campaign must pay a fine of $185,325 for violating the union’s campaign finance rules in the 1996 election. The ruling affirmed the 1998 decision of U.S. Dist. Judge David N. Edelstein. In Apr. 1998, the court-appointed election officer Michael G. Cherkasky found that the Hoffa campaign’s infractions didn’t merit Hoffa’s disqualification as a candidate for union president in the 1998 rerun. Cherkasky’s charges involve improperly accepted donated services from consultant Richard Leebove. The campaign paid Leebove a small amount and the unpaid difference amounted to an alleged illegal contribution. [BNA 3/1/99]

IRB Member Didn’t Recuse Himself
The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said Mar. 2 that Frederick Lacey, a member of the Teamsters’ court-appointed Independent Review Board may have erred by not recusing himself from a case involving a critic of ex-Teamster boss Ron Carey. Lacey openly supported Carey in the scandal-ridden 1996 Teamsters presidential election. Later, Lacey sat in judgment of Gene Giacumbo, a union vice-president and ex-Carey supporter who turned on Carey. The IRB banned Giacumbo from the union for life charging him with embezzling union funds. The Court of Appeals said that Lacey should have excused himself from the case because of his apparent favoritism of Carey, and remanded the case to U.S. Dist. Court to make that determination. [Detroit News 3/3/99]

New York Boss’ Appointment Questioned
As reported in the last issue, United Bhd. of Carpenters boss Roger Newman controversially fired three prominent reformers. New information shows that Newman, the national UBC supervisor over the corrupt N.Y. Dist. Council of Carpenters, has made a questionable appointment. He recently selected Dominick Lavacca as the Council’s organizing director, reportedly the second most powerful post. Lavacca has been accused by UBC’s court-appointed monitor of associating with two reputed organized crime figures in violation of UBC rules. Lavacca, ex-president of a Queens local, admits to being an associate of Anthony Federici, an alleged associate of the Genovese crime family in Queens. Lavacca also admits to meeting with Frank Melia, an alleged associate of the Colombo crime family. [Daily News 3/1/99]

Nassau Boss Accused of $26,000 Theft
Pasquale Ferraro, the ex-president of Civ. Service Employees Ass’n Local 330, turned himself in to the Nassau County (N.Y.) Dist. Atty.’s Office on charges of grand larceny for allegedly stealing $26,320 from CSEA’s coffers. Investigators said Ferraro stole the funds by issuing unauthorized checks to himself and third parties and through unauthorized use of his union credit card between Jun. 1997-Aug. 1998. Reportedly, Ferraro returned part of the money after he became aware of the investigation. He pled not guilty. If convicted, he faces seven years in prison. [Newsday 3/3/99]

“If ever they write the obituary for the labor movement in this country, the cause of death will be listed as ‘suicide.’ Left to mourn will be the countless decent, hardworking rank-and-filers who were betrayed and bled by their ostensible leaders.”

– Editorial, Daily News Mar. 5, 1999. Commenting on Albert A. Diop’s suspension from AFSCME Local 1549 and DC37.