Expanding the federal shakedown probe into Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 25 in Boston, investigators are reportedly now probing allegations that Local 25 president George W. Cashman nixed a plan to kill a member of another union, agreeing instead to have her beaten last month “to send [her] a message.” Investigators are reportedly probing an Aug. attack on Susan Christy, a snack truck driver on the movie set of “What’s the Worst That Could Happen.” and a member of the Int’l Ass’n of Theater & Stage Employees.
According to Boston Herald sources and a Boston Police report, James P. Flynn, a reputed mobster and ex-con who runs the Charlestown-based Teamsters’ movie crew, ordered Christy to quit so Teamster Robert Martini could take over her concession contract prior to the start of filming this summer. When Christy refused, Flynn reportedly threatened that her equipment would be “severely damaged” if she continued to work, investigators have been told.
Flynn – whose house was searched and whose records were confiscated by federal agents in June – allegedly told Martini that Christy would have to be “killed” or others would “lose respect” for Flynn. Flynn allegedly selected Martini to do the killing because Martini would be the one to benefit. Martini is an ex-policeman who was removed after being convicted of insurance fraud in 1989.
Reportedly, Louis DiGiampaolo, Local 25 treasurer and negotiator, learned of the plan and informed Cashman. Cashman, a member of the Massport Board of Directors and a confidant of Gov. Paul Cellucci (R), allegedly called Flynn into the union’s office and vetoed the plan, saying killing Christy would bring “too much scrutiny” in light of the ongoing probe. But, according to what union sources are believed to have said, Cashman agreed to have another Local 25 member “send Christy a message.”
On Aug. 15, Bartley Small, a Teamster driver on the set, allegedly pulled Christy from her truck by her hair, tossed her against the vehicle, and slapped and scratched her face while the movie was being shot. Christy, whose truck was allegedly vandalized by Small several times before she was attacked, reported the assault to Boston police, although no formal complaint was ever filed.
Then, Martini told DiGiampaolo about Christy’s contact with police and the following day, DiGiampaolo and Flynn reportedly met on the set with Christy and an IASTE business agent. They reportedly apologized and told Christy that there would be no further effort to force her off the set. A meeting was held on Aug. 18 in a Cambridge hotel where Local 25 bosses, including Flynn and Martini, allegedly urged Christy to cease cooperating with law enforcement officials, and said in return she could have her snack truck on all movie sets in the future. The group then allegedly created a cover story about Christy’s beating: she would say she suspected Small was stealing off her snack truck, and when she looked in his truck for the items, he caught her and beat her. Small was removed from the movie set by Cashman but remains a Local 25 member reportedly working as a truck driver for the Boston Globe.
Reportedly, the day after the meeting, Flynn, DiGiampaolo and Cashman met at the union’s Charlestown office where Flynn complained about the deal made with Christy and wanted to renege on it.”Jimmy wanted to (doublecross) her,” said one Herald source. But Cashman insisted Flynn “back off” until the federal investigation “blows over,” the source said.
Christy is the second IATSE member reportedly beaten for refusing Local 25 demands. During the filming of “Cider House Rules” in 1998, an IATSE technician was brutally assaulted by several Teamsters for refusing to allow Local 25 members to drive his personal van.