Sweeney Still High on Trumka

AFL-CIO boss John J. Sweeney insisted Feb. 5 at a Nat’l Press Club Luncheon that is second-in-command, secretary-treasurer Richard L. Trumka, has done nothing illegal in connection with the money-laundering scandal that led to the Jan. indictment of ex-Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters boss Ron Carey.  Sweeney said the “Teamster situation is really a tragic situation,” but said Trumka had the “highest integrity [and a] wonderful character.”  [Det. News 02/06/01]

Has Sweeney read the Teamsters case?  According to court documents, Trumka help routed $150,000 from the Teamsters’ treasury to Carey’s reelection campaign, and he allegedly contributed/solicited another $50,000 to the Carey campaign in violation of federal labor law. According to the trial transcript of convicted union embezzler William W. Hamilton, one of the key meetings that helped facilitate the $150,000 transaction reportedly took place in Trumka’s AFL-CIO office with him present.  Trumka has used the Fifth Amendment at least twice to avoid questions from federal investigators.

Journalist Robert Novak now reports, “The same sources who predicted to me that Carey would be indicted now say Richard Trumka…could be next in [U.S. Atty. Mary Jo] White’s bull’s-eye.” Novak also reports: “A registered independent…, the Clinton-appointed White is campaigning to be retained as federal prosecutor by Bush. That is considered an outrage by such Republicans as former U.S. Atty. Joseph diGenova, who told me White could have indicted Carey a year ago but ‘held off to see how the election would turn out.'” [Chi. Sun-Times 02/05/01]