Officials of the country’s biggest behind-the-scenes show business union are moving to take over a New York local amid corruption allegations, the Local’s chief said on Jan. 11. Investigators from the office of Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau are looking into charges that business agent Vincent Callaghan of IATSE Local 798 tried to loot his members by selling most of the union’s headquarters building to his brother at a “sweetheart” price.
Under the takeover plan, the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees would assume control of the local’s day-to-day business, including health and pension plans. IATSE officials plan a hearing on the takeover on Jan. 21, said Sharon Ilson-Burke, Local 798’s president. Ilson-Burke said the hearing is “just a formality,” and that a takeover is a foregone conclusion. [New York Post, 1/12/05]