LIUNA Board Member Barred for Life

Peter J. Fosco, the son and grandson of ex-Laborers’ Int’l Union of No. Am. presidents, was permanently ousted from LIUNA Oct. 15 for wrongdoing that included arranging no-show jobs for himself that garnered both salary and pension credits. LIUNA’s “in-house judge” Peter F. Vaira — whose handling of hearings on LIUNA boss Arthur A. Coia came were attacked earlier this year by the Dep’t of Justice — wrote that it “is disturbing that such practices still exist” and that “even more disturbing” that Fosco holds such a high ranking position within LIUNA. Fosco is a member of LIUNA’s Gen. Executive Bd. Fosco’s salary as a LIUNA regional manager and vice president was $165,000 in 1997.

Besides barring Fosco from LIUNA, Vaira ordered him to pay $80,286 to the union organizations that had kept him on their payrolls for several years for no-show jobs. As a regional director based in New Orleans, Fosco allegedly required his staff to make monthly cash payments of $25 to $50 to him for office parties. But Vaira said there were no records of how Fosco spent the money. Fosco also told staffers to give him expensive gifts such as a $2,100 TV.

However, Fosco’s alleged scheme centered on adding two pensions to his existing one. His late father, Angelo Fosco, named him to the New Orleans job in 1987.  Angelo Fosco died in 1993 and was replaced by Coia. DOJ’s 1994 draft-RICO suit against LIUNA stated: “At all times material hereto, Angelo Fosco was an associate of the Chicago [La Cosa Nostra] family and personally participated in [r]acketeering [a]cts…”

The younger Fosco was reportedly listed as a consultant for the union’s Dist. Councils in Ky. and La. and Local 692 in Baton Rouge.h He allegedly did no work for the jobs, but received more than $53,000 for the positions from 1990-94. After 1994, Fosco continued receiving money from the Ky. Dist. Council which named him sergeant-at-arms and paid him $5,988 a year for the previously unpaid position. By lowering his salary to just below $6,000, the level required to file salary reports, Fosco reportedly hoped to avoid detection. [Chi. Trib 10/19/99]

Question: What took LIUNA’s “internal reform effort” so long?  Why oust Fosco now? How does this help Coia?