N.J. Unionists Turn out for Indicted Mob Boss’s Party

A video turned over to the court-appointed administrator for Local 1588 of the Intl. Longshoremen’s Assn. shows numerous members of the union attending the birthday party for a reputed mob associate.  Such association would violate a 1992 court order barring any association between 1588 and organized crime.  On the basis of this evidence, the temp. administrator, frmr. NYPD chief Robert McGuire, has asked U.S. Dist. Judge John Martin, Jr. (SD, NY, GHW Bush) to delay officer election for a yr.


The Waterfront Commission of N.Y Harbor videotaped the party for reputed Genovese associate Nicholas Furina on Nov. 11, 2001.  He was indicted in Mar. 2002, along with Local 1588 pres. John Timpanaro, for shaking down longshore wrkrs. for money in exchange for job assignments.  Reportedly in attendance were numerous members of the union, incl. much of its frmr. hierarchy.


With every local pres., going back at least a decade, having been indicted or convicted in connection with organized crime involvement in the union’s operations, Judge Martin approved McGuire’s appointment in Jan. 2003.  On June 30, the U.S. Attny. for the Sou. Dist. of N.Y. asked Judge Martin to delay any elections for new officers for a yr.  In light of the Furina birthday video, McGuire wrote in an affidavit, ‘it is imperative that we thoroughly investigate the conduct of all members of the local who attended the party to determine if they should be disqualified from holding office in the union.”


After 18 mos. of trying to clean up the union, McGuire has concluded “that the overwhelming number of Local 1588 members are decent, law-abiding citizens who desire a union which is not beholden to organized crime.  However, most of them are justifiably concerned that the government will soon leave and organized crime will again reassert itself and, at this point, they are unwilling to come forward (as potential leaders of the union).”


Despite McGuire’s contacts with the membership and the history of entrenched mob influence over the local, a lawyer for the ILA’s internal trustee over 1588 argued that McGuire should have formally polled the membership on whether to hold elections now.  “Shouldn’t you, as the local administrator, at least tell the membership that this is what you’re proposing to do and let them go out and get legal counsel, should they object to it?” said Kevin Marinan. [The Jersey Journal, 7/15/04]