Chicago Boss Ousted, No Criminal Charges Brought

LIUNA’s “in-house” judge Peter F. Vaira permanently barred Local 2 boss John Matassa May 12 from LIUNA. Allegedly, Matassa has admitted under oath to a pattern of close associations with organized crime for more than 25 years. Vaira claims Matassa extorted money on behalf of the mob, supervised mob-sponsored gambling operations in Chicago and was extensively involved in managing the mob’s pornography operations. [BNA 5/19/99] There was no report of criminal charges be brought against Matassa. Curiously, despite this appearing to be a slam-dunk case, DOJ has not taken any action against Local 2 or Matassa — neither was cited in DOJ’s 1994 draft racketeering complaint against LIUNA.

Ohio Boss Gets Two Years for Theft
William S. Demboski, Jr., ex-secretary-treasurer of United Steelworkers of Am. Local 01-2-L in Akron, was sentenced to two years in jail May 20 for embezzling $316,273 of union funds. He must pay restitution of $332,727. He confessed to writing 302 unauthorized checks from 1993-97.  He wrote 231 unauthorized checks for $195,032 directly to himself. [Cleveland Plain Dealer 5/21/99]

Rhode Island Audit: $36,000 Missing
The Fraternal Order of Police local in East Providence, R.I., asked the U.S. Atty.’s Office May 18 to conduct a criminal investigation into allegations that an ex-police officer embezzled thousands of dollars from the union.  Reportedly, an audit for the period 1994-96 revealed that $36,000 was missing under circumstances described by the auditors as “potentially fraudulent” and it found another $25,000 in “questionable transactions.” The unidentified  suspect has hired a criminal defense lawyer, Stephen R. Famiglietti. It took nearly two years to determine the funds were missing. [Providence Journal-Bulletin 5/19/99]