The FBI is preparing to hit boss of N.Y.’s Int’l Union of Elevator Constructors Local 1 with racketeering charges for allegedly shaking down construction firms and giving no-show jobs to mobsters’ kin, according to the N.Y. Post. A federal grand jury reportedly hearing evidence against and an indictment is expected by year’s end.
The small but powerful local allegedly shook down construction firms by threatening work stoppages unless firms paid for an inflated number of operators. Extra positions allegedly became phantom jobs for union cronies and the kin of Gambino and Genovese crime-family members. A number of mob relatives, according to the Post, are on the union roster, including Joseph Gotti, a nephew of jailed-for-life Gambino boss John Gotti. Union members told the Post Joseph Gotti has worked as an elevator operator at numerous sites.
Also reportedly on Local 1’s union’s roster are James Bilotti, a nephew of Thomas Bilotti, gunned down in the 1985 murder of Gambino boss Paul Castellano, and two relatives of longtime Gambino member Louis Valerio, who was an associate of mob turncoat Salvatore “Sammy Bull” Gravano. Dissident members told the Post that kickbacks and no-show jobs have been a union staple for years.
As part of the ongoing probe, the FBI reportedly rounded up union members in 1999 and grilled them about their receiving and cashing checks that had been mailed to their homes for alleged no-show jobs. The FBI also hit the local and several construction firms last year with more than 200 subpoenas for employment records and welfare-fund contributions.
“There isn’t any no-show jobs,” said union president John Green Sr., who has run Local 1 since 1985. Asked about mob relatives in the union’s ranks, Green said, “If they’re here, they’re working.” [N.Y. Post 10/29/00]