Supreme Court Denies Hamilton’s Sentence Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down an appeal to hear the case of a ex-Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters political director William W. Hamilton, Jr., who was convicted of union corruption in 1999.  The court, without comment, refused to examine the conviction for participating in a plan to use third-party political groups to benefit IBT’s ex-president Ron Carey. Hamilton received a three-year prison sentence.  IBT contributed about $800,000 from its members to third-party political groups, such as the liberal Citizen Action, that ran get-out-the-vote efforts to benefit Democratic candidates in the 1996 elections.  The groups, in turn, contributed to Carey’s own campaign fund to help his fight for re-election against challenger James P. Hoffa.

Hamilton selected which groups would get union money, but he argues that he never arranged a quid pro quo and never personally benefited from any donations.  He was convicted of embezzlement, mail fraud and wire fraud in federal court in New York, and a federal appeals court upheld the conviction.  Hamilton had asked the Supreme Court to overturn the convictions on the grounds that he believed the donations were proper.  [AP 6/25/01]