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U.S. v. INT'L BROTH. OF TEAMSTERS

October 24, 1991

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS. IN RE APPLICATION XLV OF THE INDEPENDENT ADMINISTRATOR.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Edelstein, District Judge:

OPINION AND ORDER

Application XLV presents for this Court's review the opinion of the Independent Administrator finding that the Investigations Officer proved two charges filed against IBT member Carmen E. Parise, who is the Secretary-Treasurer of IBT Local Union 473 in Cleveland, Ohio and President of Joint Council 41, also in Cleveland.

I. BACKGROUND

Both charges filed by the Investigation Officer allege that Parise violated Article II, Section 2(a) and Article XIX, Section 6(b) of the IBT Constitution by conducting himself in a manner to bring reproach upon the Union. Article II, § 2(a) of the IBT Constitution is the IBT membership oath and provides in relevant part that every IBT member shall "conduct himself or herself in a manner so as not to bring reproach upon the Union." Article XIX, Section 6(b) of the IBT Constitution provides that IBT members may be disciplined for violating this oath. The first charge alleges that Parise, the Secretary Treasurer of Local 473, went to the place of employment of Jerry Jones, a Local 473 member, where he violently threatened Jones with physical harm and economic ruin. The second charge alleges that Parise refused to answer questions under oath regarding possible corrupt and dishonest activities in Local 473.

Prior to Parise's disciplinary hearing, the Investigations Officer and Parise submitted to the Independent Administrator for approval an agreement to resolve the charges, calling for a three month suspension. The agreement was submitted as Application XVIII for this Court's approval. This Court rejected the agreement in light of the severity of the charges.

After a disciplinary hearing on the charges, the Independent Administrator found that Investigations Officer had sustained his burden and demonstrated "just cause"*fn1 that the two charges had been proved. As a penalty for Charge One, the Independent Administrator imposed a suspension of twenty-four months on Parise from the IBT and its affiliates. However, the Independent Administrator credited Parise with the three month suspension already served in compliance with his agreement with the Elections Officer. As a result, the Independent Administrator ordered that Parise remove himself from the IBT and all of his IBT-affiliated union positions, including membership in the IBT, for a period of twenty-one months. (Ind.Admin. Dec. at 15). The Independent Administrator imposed a concurrent twenty-four month suspension on Parise for the second charge, also crediting Parise with three months served with respect to this charge. Thus, the Independent Administrator suspended Parise for an additional period of twenty-one months to run concurrently with the suspension imposed on Charge One. (Id. at 16). In addition, the Independent Administrator directed that Parise ensure that no retaliatory action be taken against Local 473 members Jerry Jones and/or Ron Milano, and that Parise disqualify himself from Union proceedings involving them.

Further, the Independent Administrator directed that Local 473, Joint Council 41 and any other IBT-affiliated entity not contribute to the following funds and benefit programs during his twenty-one month suspension: (1) the Local 473 Health and Welfare Fund; (2) the Local 473 Pension Fund; (3) the Joint Council 41 Severance Plan; and (4) the use of a Union-owned automobile. The Independent Administrator also directed that Local 473 be reimbursed by Parise for the funds expended by the Local in his defense of these charges.

Parise appeals to this Court the decision of the Independent Administrator. This Court finds that the decision of the Independent Administrator is fully supported by the evidence, and that Parise's arguments are completely without merit. Accordingly, the decision of the Independent Administrator is affirmed in all respects.

II. DISCUSSION

It is well settled that the findings of the Independent Administrator "are entitled to great deference." United States v. Int'l Brotherhood of Teamsters, 905 F.2d 610, 616 (2d Cir. 1990), aff'g March 13, 1990 Opinion & Order, 743 F. Supp. 155 (S.D.N.Y. 1990). This Court will overturn findings when it determines that they are, on the basis of all the evidence, "arbitrary or capricious." United States v. Int'l Brotherhood of Teamsters, supra, 905 F.2d at 622; October 16, 1991 Memorandum & Order, 777 F. Supp. 1130, 1132 (S.D.N.Y. 1991); October 11, 1991 Memorandum & Order, 777 F. Supp. 1127, 1128 — (S.D.N.Y. 1991); October 9, 1991 Memorandum & Order, 777 F. Supp. 1123, 1125 (S.D.N.Y. 1991); August 14, 1991 Memorandum & Order, slip opinion, at 4, 1991 WL 191084 (S.D.N.Y. 1991); July 31, 1991 Memorandum & Order, slip opinion at 3-4, 1991 WL 150226 (S.D.N.Y. 1991); July 18, 1991 Memorandum & Order, slip opinion, at 3-4, 1991 WL 136030 (S.D.N.Y. 1991); July 16, 1991 Opinion & Order, slip opinion, at 3-4, 1991 WL 136029 (S.D.N Y 1991); June 6, 1991 Opinion & Order, 775 F. Supp. 90, 93 (S.D.N.Y. 1991); May 13, 1991 Memorandum & Order, 764 F. Supp. 817, 820-21 (S.D.N.Y. 1991); May 9, 1991 Memorandum & Order, 764 F. Supp. 797, 800 (S.D.N.Y. 1991); May 6, 1991 Opinion & Order, 764 F. Supp. 787, 789 (S.D.N.Y. 1991); December 27, 1990 Opinion & Order, 754 F. Supp. 333, 337 (S.D.N.Y. 1990); September 18, 1990 Opinion & Order, 745 F. Supp. 189, 191-92 (S.D.N.Y. 1990); August 27, 1990 Opinion & Order, 745 F. Supp. 908, 911 (S.D.N.Y. 1990); March 13, 1990 Opinion & Order, supra, 743 F. Supp. at 159-60, aff'd, 905 F.2d at 622; January 17, 1990 Opinion & Order, 728 F. Supp. 1032, 1045-57, aff'd, 907 F.2d 277 (2d Cir. 1990); November 2, 1989 Memorandum & Order, 725 F. Supp. 162, 169 (S.D.N.Y. 1989). Parise challenges the Independent Administrators findings on both charges.

A. Charge One

As to Charge One, the Independent Administrator found that the evidence conclusively proved that on September 4, 1987, Parise went to Jerry Jones' place of employment and violently threatened him. (Ind.Admin.Dec. at 5). Parise's threats to Jones were captured on an audio tape of the September 4, 1987 encounter. Parise's threats included statements such as the following:

    The day after the Pressman's election, you'll
  be sorry the day you were born, you mother
  fucker. . . . Every time you turn around, I'll
  have somebody give you a fucking beating. You
  ...

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