Ex-Boss Hanley Dies in Auto Accident

The members of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union will save $267,000 a year due to the Jan. 7 death of ex-boss Edward T. Hanley.  Hanley, 67, was forced to resign in 1998 under corruption allegations, but he swung criminal and civil immunities deals with the Dep’t of Justice and secured a $267,000 annual pension, more than his annual salary of $250,000.

“[H]e had a very high salary, enjoyed all the privileges of office and was aloof from the rank and file. And while he never was convicted…, he was always suspected because he associated with criminal elements,” said Richard Hurd, Cornell Univ. labor professor.

The Vilas County (Wis.) Sheriff’s Dep’t said Hanley was killed in a collision on County Hwy. B in Land O’Lakes, Wis. at 8:45 p.m. Hanley’s pickup truck collided with a pickup truck driven by Roy Stopczynski. Hanley, of Wadsworth,  Ill., suffered head and chest trauma and was pronounced dead on the scene. Stopczynski, of Land O’Lakes, was taken to hospital; according to one source, Stopczynski was intoxicated.  Hanley, whose “country home” was near Land O’Lakes, was reportedly   picking up a pizza. Sheriff John Niebuhr said the accident remained under investigation by his department and the Wis. State Patrol.

Hanley’s reign over HERE, 1973-98, was  shrouded in scandal. A 1977 DOJ report said HERE was a classic example of organized crime’s control over a union and asserted that Hanley’s ascension to the presidency of HERE was achieved at the direction of Chicago crime boss Joey Aiuppa. During his 1984 testimony before a Senate subcommittee investigating links between HERE and organized crime, Hanley asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 36 times.

In 1995, a court-appointed monitor began to review its business practices and root out mob influences in order to settle racketeering charges brought by DOJ. That process eventually led to Hanley’s removal and the removal of his son, Thomas Hanley, who was HERE’s director of organization and boss of Local 1 in Chicago.

The monitor’s final report accused Edward Hanley of a wide range of corruption: a “ghost” Local 77 in Rhinelander, Wis. (near Land O’Lakes), where Hanley’s and other boss had vacation homes; a abuse of HERE’s $2.5 million jet that cost hundred of thousands a year to maintain; a bogus union office in Palm Springs, Cal. near his other vacation home; a $31,000 annual salary for a “ghost” job from Local 1.

“He was very generous to himself with our money,” said Jonathan Palewicz, HERE dissident member in San Francisco. “He was a labor dictator, and he wasn’t that successful organizing when you consider how the industry expanded exponentially.”

“The sorry legacy and the state Ed Hanley has left not only our local but our whole union in is not a legacy I would wish on anyone,” said Martin Preib, HERE dissident in Chicago.

Hanley’s funeral mass was scheduled to be held Jan. 12 at Holy Name Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. [AP 1/9/00, Chi. Sun-Times 1/9/00, Chi. Trib. & Milwaukee J.-Sent. 1/10/00, BNA 1/11/00, N.Y. Times 1/14/00