As George Spencer campaigns for the presidency of Intl. Longshoremen Assn. Local 1408, he also awaits trial for witness tampering to shield a union member from rape charges. He is currently the financial officer and secy. of the Local, which the FBI was investigating for possible labor law violations last year.
As FBI agents monitored conversations in the union hall, they recorded Spencer offering $5,000 to persuade a woman raped by local member Jerome Williams not to testify at his trial. But reportedly, Spencer offered the bribe to a local undercover officer posing as the woman’s girlfriend. And FBI agents turned their tapes over to state prosecutors, who arrested Spencer in Jan. for felony witness-tampering. Williams was convicted of rape and armed kidnapping last May. Circuit Judge Michael Weatherby labeled him a sexual predator, and sentenced him to life in prison.
Spencer is still running for Local president, with the election scheduled for Dec. 16., two weeks after he appears in court. It is not clear whether the union’s bylaws would bar Spencer from the ofc. if he is convicted. Elected officers must not have been convicted of any one of 12 crimes, incl. murder, rape and extortion. But witness-tampering isn’t named. The union itself is also facing a class-action lawsuit by two women alleging sexual discrimination and harassment by George and his brother, Charles, the current p[resident. [Florida Times-Union 11/26/02]