The opinion of the court was delivered by: Edelstein, District Judge:
This opinion emanates from the voluntary settlement in the action
commenced by the plaintiffs United States of America (the "Government")
against the defendants International Brotherhood of Teamsters (the "IBT")
and the IBT's General Executive Board (the "GEB") embodied in the
voluntary consent order entered March 14, 1989 (the "Consent Decree").
The remedial provisions in the Consent Decree provided for three
Court-appointed officials, the Independent Administrator to oversee the
all aspects of the Consent Decree, an Investigations Officer to bring
charges against corrupt IBT members, and an Election Officer to oversee
the electoral process leading up to and including the 1991 election for
International Officers (collectively, the "Court Officers"). The ultimate
goal of the Consent Decree is to rid the IBT of the hideous influence of
organized crime through the election, prosecution, and other provisions.
This current dispute involves the unwillingness of the IBT to publish
in the International Teamster the names of IBT members who face pending
disciplinary charges filed against them by the Investigations Officer.
The Independent Administrator seeks to include these names in his monthly
Report to the Membership included in each issue. This disagreement has
culminated in Application VIII of the Independent Administrator, which
asked this Court to further interpret paragraph F.12.(E) of the Consent
Decree ("¶ 12.(E)") — the provision that authorized the
Independent Administrator to report to the membership in the
International Teamster — as permitting such publication.
The specific problem which led to this Application stems from the IBT's
refusal to print in full Report V of the Independent Administrator in the
November, 1989 issue of the International Teamster. In that instance, the
IBT declined to print the names of five IBT individuals against whom the
Investigations Officer had filed charges. The Independent Administrator
subsequently sought to publish the manes of those charged in his Report
VII in the January issue, of the International Teamster, and this effort
was similarly refused by the IBT. This second negation spawned a series
of exchanges between the Independent Administrator and the IBT which
resulted in Application VIII.
In response to Application VIII, both the IBT and the Independent
Administrator seek a series of definitive and modifying determinations.
The Independent Administrator asks this Court to rule (1) that the IBT
must publish in the International Teamster the names of those charged by
the Investigations Officer; (2) that the IBT gain approval from the
Independent Administrator for any editorial changes in his monthly
reports to the membership; (3) that should the Independent Administrator
disagree with the IBT's changes, the matter be brought before this Court
by way of Application; (4) while such an Application may pend, the IBT
shall refrain from publishing that issue of the International Teamster.
For their part, the IBT seeks (1) this Court's approval of their refusal
to print the names; and (2) a series of reinterpretations of this Court's
earlier rulings — in an Order dated November 16, 1989 (the
"November 16 Order") and the Opinion and Order dated January 17, 1990,
728 F. Supp. 1032 (the "January 17, 1990 Opinion") — that
interpreted ¶ 12.(E).
A. Publication of Names in the International Teamster
The Government has supported the Independent Administrator's right to
publish the charges, and refutes the IBT's claims of potential liability.
The Government believes that the Independent Administrator's reports are
quasi-judicial and privileged. The Government paints the IBT's refusal to
print the names of charged persons as censorship, and violative of ¶
12.(E), the November 19, 1989 Order, and the spirit and intent of the
As a preliminary matter, this Court views the IBT's fears of tort
liability as illusory. It must be clear to the IBT that publishing the
names pursuant to an order of this Court leaves them with no alternative
other than contempt of court should they fail to comply. The publication
of names by the IBT will be done pursuant to order of this Court.
In earlier rulings on this matter, this Court has consistently
interpreted ¶ 12.(E) as granting the Independent Administrator a
broad mandate to communicate with the IBT membership. This Court cannot
emphasize strongly enough the critical importance of regular, accurate,
and comprehensive dissemination of information to the rank and file
regarding the current status of the Consent Decree. The International
Teamster is the only means for the Court Officers to directly reach the
membership. Since the implementation of the Consent Decree, the monthly
reports of the Independent Administrator have comprehensively summarized
the ongoing implementation of the Consent Decree. The agressive response
of the IBT to those reports testifies to the fact that these monthly
communications are widely read and understood by the membership.
While in their papers the parties discuss a number of potential
issues, the only relevant point of inquiry is whether ¶ 12.(E) of the
Consent Decree should be interpreted to permit the dissemination of this
information. Upon review of that provision, and the spirit and intent of
the Consent Decree, that specific request of the Independent
Administrator is granted.
In this instance, this Court finds that the benefits to the IBT
membership of receiving full information about the Consent Decree,
specifically the names of those charged, is highly useful information to
the membership. The rank and file are the ultimate interested parties in
this remedial scheme, and they have a right to be informed of all the
actions that happen in this litigation. To this end, this Court has
previously found that under ¶ 12.(E), the Independent Administrator
should have monthly communications with the membership, either in the
International Teamster, or by direct mail. Further, under ¶ 12.(E),
this Court has ordered that all orders of this Court be published in the
International Teamster, so that the membership would ...