Labor Dept. Sues after Ullico Chief Ignores Subpoena

The U.S. Dept. of Labor sued Robert Georgine, president of the Ullico insurance company, on Feb. 12 after he ignored their subpoena for documents relating to the insider stock trades that netted Georgine and other union chiefs $6 million in profits. According to AP labor writer Leigh Strope, the DOL is seeking any documents relating to compensation, loans and stock transactions at Ullico involving Georgine, the frmr. head of the AFL-CIOs Bldg. & Construction Trades Dept.

Also at the top of the DOLs list is a report by frmr. IL gov. James Thompson on the stock deals, in which Ullico directors bought the union-pension-owned company stock in late 1999 at $54 a share  knowing that it would be hiked to $146 in 2000.  A year later, the same union directors voted to sell their $146 shares  knowing that Ullico stock would soon fall to $71. When the inside stock profit scheme became public knowledge last year, Georgine asked his old friend, frmr. gov. Thompson, to conduct an internal investigation.

Thompson completed his report in November. In an effort to keep the report under attny./client privilege, Georgine strictly controlled access to the report, allowing only Ullico directors who agreed not to discuss its contents to read the report without taking notes.  DOL is investigating whether any of the union chiefs who sit on the Ullico bd. should be stripped of their union positions, and subpoenaed the report and other documents on Jan. 3. Georgine apparently ignored the subpoena, even after DOL extended its deadline by two weeks.

U.S. Dist. Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle (D.C., Clinton) has ordered Georgine to appear before her on Feb. 21 to defend his secrecy. [Austin American-Statesman 2/13/03]