NY Carpenters President Convicted of Bribery

Michael Forde, the president of the NY Dist. Council of Carpenters, and a bus. agent named Martin Devereaux, were convicted on April 27 of taking a bribe from a mob-run contractor to keep union wrkrs. off its projects.  Essential to the conviction, as reported by Tom Robbins of the Village Voice, was the contractor, Sean Richard, the ex-son-in-law of the imprisoned boss of the DeCalvacante crime family, John Riggi.


In the late 1990s, Richard moved his contracting business from N.J. to N.Y., and was allowed by the Luchese crime family to win a rigged bid to renovate the old Park Central hotel.  Around St. Patrick’s Day in 1998, Richard testified that he met Forde, then president of Local 608 of the United Bhd. of Carpenters, and bus. agent Devereaux.  They suggested that since Richard was working outside of his N.J. base, he should ask the UBC’s Wash. D.C. HQ for an “international agreement” allowing him to use N.J. wrkrs. on the Manhattan project.  After getting help from his then-father-in-law to obtain that agreement, Richard said he arranged to pay Forde and Deverauex $50,000, to reward them for their advice and to get them to keep the union out of his job site.


A couple of weeks later, Devereaux dispatched Vincent McIntyre as a shop steward to the site, even though he had never been one.  McIntyre testified that when he tried to verify which wrkrs. were union members, several men ordered him to “get back downstairs.”  Afterward, McIntyre stayed in his ofc., but kept his record that only 6 of the project’s 27 wrkrs. were union members.


But that June, a group of organizers from the UBC’s dist. council came to the site, and verified the low number of union members.  Richard immediately faxed an irate letter to the UBC’s intl. HQ, complaining that the organizers acted like “storm troopers,” and demanded that their leader, Patrick O’Neill, be barred from dealing with Richard, since acc. to him, “we have been dealing with Michael Ford (sic) president of Local 608, [with] whom we are in good standing.”


Forde continued to progress through the ranks of the union hierarchy, moving up to the presidency of the state’s dist. council, a post he continued to hold, even after his indictment in Sept. 2000, and through his trial.  He will have to give up his ofc. because of the conviction. [Village Voice, 4/27/04: NY Daily News, 4/28/04]