Pennsylvania Unionists Sentenced for Assault

Three members of the Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 115 were scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 25 in connection with the 1998 beating of Clinton protesters during a fundraising trip by Bill Clinton to Philadelphia. Mark Hopkins, Charles Davis and Norma Bottomer pled guilty in Sept. to various charges, including assault and conspiracy, in connection with the beating of protester Don Adams and his sister, Teri. Now five Teamsters have pled guilty in the case.  In 1999, Marc Nardonne and Kevin McNulty pled guilty to charges of riot, conspiracy and assault.

Both Adamses were beaten to the ground by Teamsters after a fight broke out during Clinton’s Oct. 1998 at the height of the House impeachment inquiry in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Adams later filed a criminal complaint accusing Local 115 president John P.  Morris of starting the fight and of instructing union members to attack him.  The beatings, broadcast on local television stations, left Adams with a gash under his eye and multiple bruises. A federal civil rights lawsuit brought by Adams against  Morris is pending. [Wash. Times 10/25/00]

Kentucky Boss Guilty of False Statements
Lawrence A. Triche was convicted in U.S. Dist. Court in Paducah, Ky., Oct. 12 for making false statements to a Dep’t of Labor investigator. Triche, who was vice chairman of the Bhd. of Maintenance of Way Employees, was charged with lying to the federal agent, who was conducting an audit on Feb. 23, 1999, at the union’s office. Triche was convicted of lying about why he wrote a check for $ 3,162 in union funds to himself. He was acquitted on charges of embezzlement of labor-union funds and an additional false-statement count. Triche is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 16. [Courier-J. 10/14/00]

California Boss Charged with $210,000 Theft
A federal grand jury indicted Teresa Esther Sanchez, ex-financial secretary of Int’l Longshoremen & Warehousemen Union Local 20A in Wilmington, Cal., July 11 on three counts of embezzling union funds and two counts of submitting false union reports to the Dep’t of Labor. Sanchez was arrested on May 15, 2000 on charges that she embezzled over $210,000 in union funds and falsified union records during a seven-year period ending in Oct. 1999.  She was charged with writing and negotiating unauthorized checks to herself and to cash.  Sanchez appeared in U.S. Dist. Court on May 16 and was released on $50,000 unsecured bond. Sanchez was elected in 1988 and served in that position until she resigned in Dec. 1999. [USAO C.D. Cal., Media Release 7/13/00]

Virginia Boss Charged with $38,000 Theft
A federal grand jury indicted Donnie Lee Block, ex-president of Bakery Confectionery & Tobacco Workers Int’l Union Local 66 in Portsmouth, Va., Sept. 20 on embezzling union funds.  The indictment alleged that Block “did embezzle, steal and unlawfully can willfully abstract and convert to his own use and the use of another approximately $38,702,55” of the local’s money between Oct. 1997 and Oct. 1998.  Reportedly, Block wrote checks to himself and withdrew funds for his own use.  Local 66 represents a mere 10 workers. [Virginian-Pilot 9/21/00]

California Consultant Pleads Guilty
Darrell Reese, a political consultant  for Int’l Ass’n of Fire Fighters Local 188 in Richmond, Cal., pled guilty Oct. 26 to tax evasion. Reese, who the FBI probed for alleged corruption involving city contracts, admitted that he didn’t report $40,000 in income from consulting on his 1996-97 tax returns.

The conviction is the second major blow this year to Reese. In Aug.,  Local 188 agreed to pay a $17,000 fine for violating nine counts of the Cal. Fair Political Practices Act. The fine came after Reese admitted misrepresenting 1997 political donations as coming from retired firefighters and proceeds of a circus fund-raiser in an effort to get around state contribution limits. Also, Reese was among dozens of city politicians questioned by the FBI as part of an investigation into alleged bribery of city officials in exchange for contracts.

Richmond City Councilman Tom Butt, one of Reese’s staunchest critics, said Reese got what he deserved. “It confirms what I’ve been telling people for 10 years, that this guy is a crook,” Butt said. “I would hope that this would taint him enough so that those associated with him in the past will not do so again.I hope this will help clean up Richmond politics and pull it out of the gutter that it’s been in for so long.” [S.F. Chron. 10/28/00]