First Guilty Plea in Massive New York Probe

Robert Shannon, vice-president and business agent of Int’l Union of Elevator Constructors Local 1 in N.Y.C., pled guilty May 30 to labor corruption charges, becoming the first to fall in a massive federal probe into no-show job schemes. Shannon admitted that he took thousands in no-show job money between Feb. 1997 and Mar. 1998. Under the plea, he is expected to serve under two years in prison and pay thousands in fines.

Disturbingly, while Shannon agreed not to serve as a union bosses for seven years but he can remain a Local 1 member as part of the plea deal. Shannon was indicted Feb. 7 with twenty-five other Local 1 bosses and members for ripping off millions through no-show schemes from nineteen construction sites around N.Y.C. Even more troubling, Shannon, a close associate of Local 1 president John Green, did NOT agree to cooperate in the probe. “Shannon made a personal decision to put this behind him,” said Shannon’s attorney, Frank Murray. “There was no agreement to cooperate. It was just a straight plea.” [N.Y. Post  5/31/02]

Accounting Partner Pleads Guilty
Mirroring the the Enron-Authur Andersen scandal, a partner in the union accounting firm of Thomas Havey LLP confessed June 6 to two felony counts arising from an ongoing criminal probe into the Int’l Ass’n of Iron Workers and its Nat’l Ironworkers & Employers Apprenticeship Training & Journeyman Upgrading Fund. Havey partner Alfred S. Garappolo pled guilty to one count of accessory after the fact to embezzlement and one count of concealing a material fact. Garappolo, who worked in Havey’s Washington, D.C. office, admitted that from Jan. 1999 to July 2001 he helped Kerry J. Tresselt, bookkeeper of a union training fund conceal her embezzlement of some $350,000 payroll checks from the Fund in 1998. Tresselt also happens to be the daughter of the ex-trustee of the Fund, Raymond J. Robertson, who is also ex-general vice-president of IAIW.

Garappolo, a Md. resident, also admitted concealing the amount of money the union spent on entertainment expenses for IAIW president emeritus Jacob “Jake” West and others. Garappolo is the ninth individual to be charged in the growing scandal. Six other union bosses or employees including, Robertson and Tresselt, have pled guilty. West and ex-IAIW general secretary LeRoy Worley have been indicted and are awaiting trial. [Wash. Post 6/7/02] West has also been linked to the Ullico, Inc. insider trading scandal.

Las Vegas Boss Admits $200,000 Theft
Deborah Partida, ex-secretary-treasurer of Am. Postal Workers Union Local 761 in Las Vegas and ex-treasurer of the Postal Workers Nev. State Ass’n, pled guilty May 17 to one count of union embezzlement. According to the plea, she embezzled some $200,000 from the two unions by making unauthorized payments by check and credit card to herself and her creditors. She was indicted on Mar. 12 on two counts of embezzling $132,824 from Local 761 and $1,764 from the State Ass’n. She was also  indicted on two counts of making false statements to federal agents in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. [DOL 5/17/02]