Ullico Board on Defensive; Fashions an “Investigation”

The scandal-scarred board of Ullico, Inc., appointed labor-friendly ex-Ill. Gov. James R. Thompson (R) Apr. 29 to “review” the insider trading scheme that allowed some directors of the union-dominated insurance company to make hundreds of thousands in tainted profits. To see just how labor-friendly, visit http://www.ipsn.org/ullico/thompson_ullico.htm, for a picture from when Thompson was governor. It shows Thompson with Robert A. Georgine, now the Ullico president, who helped select Thompson for the lucrative investigatory job and who Thompson is supposed to be investigating. Also pictured is Angelo Fosco. The deceased Fosco was president, as was his father, of the Laborers’ Int’l Union of N. Am from 1975-1993. The government’s draft 1994 racketeering suit that led to a quasi-government takeover of LIUNA, stated that Fosco “was an associate of the Chicago [La Costa Nostra] family” and accused him of racketeering acts related to extortion of LIUNA members. Also in the picture is deceased plumbers and AFL-CIO boss Edward Brabec.

Thankfully, in addition to Thompson’s “investigation,” a federal grand jury in Washington and the Dep’t of Labor are examining the stock deals to determine if the union presidents who sit on Ullico’s board made money at the expense of their unions.

The resolution empowering Thompson was approved unanimously by the Ullico board during a closed-door session. Thompson, currently chairman of the Chicago law firm of Winston & Strawn, confessed: “I’ll do the investigation that they’ve asked me to do. I’ll ask the questions they want me to get answered.” [Bloomberg News 4/30/02; N.Y. Times 5/1/02]

Arkansasan Admits $67,300 Theft
On Apr. 25, L. Ann Brockman, ex-bookkeeper for United Ass’n of Plumbers & Pipe Fitters Local 155 in Little Rock, Ark., pled guilty to one count of union embezzlement and agreed to make full restitution of $67,338. It was previously reported that, Brockman was indicted Feb. 5 on 26 counts of embezzling $11,621 from UA Local 665 in Pine Bluff, Ark. The exact relationship between the two reports was unavailable. [DOL 4/25/02, 2/5/02]