In a mid-Jan. letter to the members of Local 456, Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters president James Hoffa outlined the results of a 13 month investigation by the union’s Independent Rev. Bd. (IRB) that led to the IBT takeover of the Elmsford Local.
The IRB was established under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Sou. Dist. of NY in 1989 to root out corruption in the Teamsters. In 1999, the IRB concluded that Local 456 pres. Edward Doyle Sr. took part in a bribery scheme in which a Yonkers car dealer sold 12 cars to Local 456 while accepting the Local’s used cars at less than fair value. Doyle and other bosses then bought back the used cars at a sharp discount. Doyle agreed to a seven-year suspension from the union and resigned his office. But Doyle remained as head of the Westchester-Putnum Bldg. & Construction Trades Council. His brother, Bernard, took over as pres. of the Local, and his son, Edward, Jr., remained on the Exec. Bd. of Local 456.
According to the Hoffa letter, the IRB found evidence of improper supervision of local funds. Bernard Doyle, for instance, failed to get the Board’s approval for a $2 million fund transfer. The Bd. apparently failed to verify bank account balances. And, according to the Hoffa letter, “the Local Union has failed to maintain proper records with respect to $3 million loan to the Local’s Holding Corporation.
The IRB also documented a pattern of nepotism in the Local by the Doyle family, where three generations have exercised considerable influence in a union that has not had a contested election since 1971. Current pres. Bernard Doyle is accused of arbitrarily choosing members, and doling out construction jobs on the basis of favoritism, not merit. Finally, the IRB charges that Doyle used the union credit card at restaurants near his home 54 times between Feb. 1999 and March 2001. Forty five of those dinners were on Friday or Saturday nights. According to the Hoffa letter, “The IRB report raises serious questions as to whether these meals were related to Local Union business.” [Journal-News 1/19/03]