Bill Clinton was questioned Sep. 8 by Ralph I. Lancaster, Jr., the independent counsel investigating Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman for possible improper conduct while working at the White House by playing a role in illegal campaign contributions to the Dem. Nat. Committee and seeking to benefit a company in which she had a financial interest. Lancaster interviewed Clinton under oath at the White House for an hour according the Clinton’s attorney Beth Nolan. Herman’s attorney, W. Neil Eggleston of Howrey & Simon — who is also the “appellate judge” for LIUNA’s failed “internal reform effort” which oversees Clinton’s close personal, financial and political friend, LIUNA boss Arthur A. Coia — claimed that Clinton’s interrogation wasn’t a surprise. [BNA 9/9/99]
NLPC Questions Bosses’ Integrity
Nat. Legal & Policy Ctr., a union corruption watchdog, requested Aug. 30 that the Pubic Review Board of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union initiate a probe of the apparent lack of integrity in HERE President John W. Wilhelm and other officials’ implementation of anti-corruption reforms. “NLPC believes that these possible lapses of integrity should be investigated by PRB in order to ‘insure high moral and ethical standards in the administration and operational practice of [HERE]’ [as stated in HERE’s Constitution.] If PRB finds that such lapses in integrity occurred or persist, NLPC requests that PRB ‘remove, suspend, expel, fine or forfeit the benefits…of any officer’ in accordance with PRB’s jurisdiction,” said NLPC’s letter.
NLPC’s six-page complaint was addressed to HERE’s former court-appointed Monitor Kurt W. Muellenberg, who is also a PRB member. His report last year included reform recommendations. NLPC detailed three concerns: 1) Wilhelm’s refusal to close HERE’s Midwest Office, 2) Secretary-Treasurer Ted T. Hansen’s role in the reform process and 3) Gen. Counsel Robert J. Rotatori’s role in the reform process.
“Hansen was listed by Wilhelm as being responsible for a number of reforms. But Hanson is reportedly the son-in-law of corrupt ex-boss Edward Hanley and the brother-in-law of corrupt ex-boss Thomas Hanley. How can an individual with such intimate ties to two corrupt ex-bosses be trusted to implement reforms?” asked NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm. “Further, how can an individual who has had a leadership role within this union for over 25 years be trusted to implement reforms when during those 25 years this union was alleged to be one of the most corrupt unions in America? The common sense answer would appear to be that such an individual should not be trusted to implement reforms.”
“HERE has long been a union troubled by corruption… Practices and individuals with links to the ‘old guard’ should at the very minimum be investigated…” Boehm concluded. To read NLPC’s letter, visit www.nlpc.org.
Labor Day, 147 San Francisco Unionists Arrested
San Fran. Police arrested 147 members of HERE Local 2 after demonstrators blocked downtown traffic in front of the St. Francis Hotel on Labor Day. Protesters threatened several large hotels saying they were about to “drop the hammer” unless a contract is signed soon. Arrestees were cited for obstructing a public roadway and released. The contract expired Aug. 14. Local 2 boss Michael Casey proclaimed, “This was the biggest arrest action in the country [on Labor Day], …we’re on a collision course [with management].”
Teresa McKinney, manger of a Victoria’s Secret store next to the hotel, said the protest was “kind of scary. It was really loud and nerve-racking. I had to come in a side door, because police weren’t letting anyone in the front.” She said that it disrupted business and that sales were sluggish for hours after the last union members left. “I really wouldn’t want to see a repeat of that.” [S.F. Chron. 9/7/99]