In its latest semiannual report to Congress, the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Ofc. of Inspector General announced the outcome of case of union assaults and drug dealings associated with “The Big Dig” highway project in Boston.
The Central Artery/Tunnel Project, known as the “Big Dig,” is the largest federally funded highway project in the United States. This investigation revealed that Local 88 of the Laborers Intl. Union of N. Amer., the lead union on the project, is involved in drug distribution and violence.
In Oct. 2003, Scott Boidi, the frmr. bus. mgr. of Local 88, and Robert Neal, a member, pled guilty in state ct. to threatening and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The assault was against a union member who had confronted Boidi for refusing to investigate an industrial accident on the Big Dig site in which he and another union member were almost killed. Boidi was sentenced to 30 days in prison and 2 yrs. of probation. Neal received 2 yrs. in prison and 2 yrs. of probation. In addition, Boidi was removed from ofc. by the Intl. union.
The investigation initially targeted Local 88 and individuals who were illegally obtaining union jobs on the Big Dig and distributing cocaine. To date, a total of 12 individuals have been indicted, of which 9 have pled guilty and 8 have been sentenced. Moreover, in Jan. 2004, one of the drug suppliers, Gerald Sullivan, was sentenced to nearly 13 yrs. in prison and 3 yrs. of probation based on his Nov. 2003 guilty plea to distribution of narcotics and conspiracy to distribute narcotics. [OIG, 3/31/04]