As if Teamsters Local 327 doesn’t have enough to worry about these days, the union now is finding itself in a different kind of trouble, one rooted in recent events. The Nashville Metro Police Department has decommissioned one of its officers after learning on July 26 that the officer had been involved in a plot to bug an event held by the local’s rival, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). The action is the latest installment in an ongoing Teamsters-FOP feud in the Nashville area, where the Teamsters more than a year ago won collective bargaining rights. The officer, Roy Dunaway, had served as the police department’s liaison to Local 327. Making this black bag operation even more inexplicable is the fact that the suspects had planted the listening device(s) at the FOP’s summer youth camp in Mt. Juliet, east of Nashville.
So far only one person has been charged with an offense. That would be Calvin Hullett, a Teamster employee and a former FOP local president arrested for aggravated burglary. The list may expand soon. Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) recently searched Hullett’s home, and the evidence suggests that as many as six current or former officers of Metro Police, the Davidson County (Nashville) Sheriff’s Office and the Shelby County (Memphis) Sheriff’s Office were involved. TBI agents also searched Teamster Local 327 headquarters, looking for documents and computers, and interviewing persons named in the warrant.
Police Chief Ronal Serpas indicated in a letter to Local 327 President Jimmy Neal his intent to temporarily cut off contact with the union. His letter stated in part: “Certain specific recent and ongoing events relating to the criminal charges lodged against Teamster employee Calvin Hullett in Wilson County, Tennessee, coupled with the ensuing and evolving criminal investigation being conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies for the purpose of identifying possible accomplices and/or other criminal activity, make it necessary to redefine the parameters of the relationship between the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and the Teamsters organization.” Serpas indicated that while the department-union relationship would not be severed, it would require reevaluation “on a daily basis.” The Teamsters’ international leadership might reevaluate its relations with certain locals. (Nashville City Paper, 7/30/07).