Hoffa on the Hill: End DOJ Consent Decree

Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters boss James P. Hoffa told Congress that his union is no longer under the influence of organized crime and should be rid of government control. “Our union today is one of the cleanest of any now on the labor scene,” Hoffa told the Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and the Edu. & Workforce Com.’s Oversight & Investigations Subcom. “Organized crime has been eliminated. There are no people who have a connection with organized crime in the union today and we are ever-vigilant of that and we want to make sure it stays that way.”  The Dep’t of Justice’s supervision since 1989 has cost IBT about $88 million.

Hoffa said IBT is ready to file a racketeering suit against those involved in the 1996 scheme to swap IBT political contributions for donations to Ron Carey’s campaign. “We have drafted a RICO suit, and it’s ready to go,” said Hoffa. Rumors of such a suit have been circulating for months.

Prior to the hearing Hoekstra said “foot dragging” by DOJ may require him to reopen hearings into the IBT scandal. “For all intents and purposes it appears that [DOJ’s] investigation is over. …We bowed to [DOJ’s] requests. We didn’t pursue things in which we had a high degree of interest under the assumption [DOJ] would act vigorously. They didn’t.” [Det. News 3/24, 3/29/00, BNA 3/29/00]

IRB Wants Civil Charges Against Three New York Bosses
After placing IBT Local 806 trusteeship in early Mar., IBT’s Independent Review Bd. recommended that three bosses face civil union corruption charges. IRB,in late Mar., recommended civil charges against the Garden City, N.Y.-based local’s ousted bosses Donald Calagna, Ivan Cerina and Anthony DeStefano. The three now face an IBT hearing and could be expelled from the union and/or face fines. FBI and Dep’t of Labor may also investigate the allegations. Calagna, Local 806’s top boss until IRB removed him, allegedly embezzled $69,400 in unauthorized bonuses and salary increases from 1996-99. [Newsday 3/29/00]