Audit Reveals “Significant Accounting and Bookkeeping Problems” at Chicago Local

A year after Laborers’ Int’l Union of N. Am. Local 2 came out of trusteeship, the troubled Chicago-based local was again subjected to discipline by the int’l union. Matt Paul, an “in-house prosecutor” with LIUNA’s Office of the Gen. Executive Bd. Atty.’s Office, told the Daily Labor Report May 20 that a “supervision agreement” had been imposed on Local 2. Reportedly, supervision is a form of discipline less restrictive than trusteeship and is accomplished in “cooperation” with the local’s executive board. Paul said the supervision agreement was reached on May 8.

Local 2 has been the subject of several corruption probes. It was placed under an emergency trusteeship in May 1999 . At that time, “in-house prosecutors” contended the local was under the control of organized crime and had ignored democratic principles. The local’s primary officer John Matassa was alleged to be a “made” member of Chicago organized crime and later was barred from LIUNA for life.

Local 2 came out of supervision in Mar. 2001, but ran into problems quickly. The local’s first democratically elected business manager Richard Caravetta came under scrutiny for alleged mob ties. On Feb. 19, 2002, he signed a settlement with “in-house prosecutors” and agreed to be barred from elected office and employment by the union for life. No report of any federal prosecution.

Paul said Local 2’s current problems were primarily internal. He said an audit by LIUNA revealed significant accounting and bookkeeping problems. No report if the matter has been referred to the Dep’t of Labor for a federal investigation of the local.

Paul said the presumptive length of the supervision agreement is 18 months. As a practical matter, however, he said the international union hopes to settle the local’s problems in one year so it can hold new elections in 2003. Randy Dalton, an executive of LIUNA’s Chicago Dist. Council and Local 2’s former trustee, will serve as the local’s new “supervisor.” [BNA 5/21/02]