Hoffa Ally Allegedly Lied about Organized Crime Ties

A new report accuses Michael C. Bane, president of Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 614 in Pontiac, Mich., of lying under oath about his personal relationships with Detroit organized crime figures. Bane, who was convicted of embezzlement in the 1970s, has been affiliated with the local for more than 30 years and became president in 1990.

The new accusations were detailed in a 23-page report by Charles M. Carberry, chief investigator for IBT’s Independent Review Bd. The Dec. 21 report, submitted to IBT president James P. Hoffa, charges that Bane “brought reproach” on IBT because he failed to cooperate with IRB. Bane gave “intentionally misleading testimony” to IRB concerning his relationship and association with Vincent Meli, Vito Giacalone, Anthony LaPiana, Jr., and Nove Tocco, identified by the FBI or court testimony as members of the Detroit mob. The charges arose from sworn testimony Bane gave to IRB during four separate hearings conducted between 1991 and Oct. 6, 2000.

Nove Tocco, one of four men convicted in the 1998 federal trial of the Detroit mob, told the FBI he had known Bane since the 1970s and that together they had taken kickbacks from restaurant owners and during contract negotiations for hotel and restaurant employees. Tocco also said Bane was friendly with Vincent Meli, LaPiana and others. To support his claim that he knows Bane, Tocco also related incidents in which Bane participated with them. Other witnesses, such as retired FBI agents, supported Tocco’s accounts. The FBI also produced wiretaps of conversations Bane had with the crime figures, as well as surveillance reports.

Under IBT’s consent decree with DOJ, Hoffa has 90 days in which to either file charges against Bane, hold a hearing and forward a written report to IRB. Hoffa can also reject the recommended charges, but he must provide a written explanation to IRB. The case against Bane may be difficult for Hoffa. Bane’s father, Joe Bane, Sr., was a close ally of Hoffa’s father, James R. Hoffa. The younger Bane has also been a staunch supporter of the younger Hoffa. In 1991, he worked to change IBT’s constitution to allow Hoffa to be eligible to run for IBT office. [Det. News 12/28/00]