Amato, the Local has been associated with an array of other federal indictments and convictions.
In United States v. Vincent Santa and Thomas Orlando, 86 CR 303 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 4, 1987) (McLaughlin, J.), the defendants were indicted and later convicted for extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion by threatening work stoppages and labor unrest involving Local 295 and Local 851. In United States v. Salvatore Reale and George Parker, 86 CR 302 (E.D.N.Y. February 4, 1988) (Weinstein, J.), Reale pled guilty to extortion charges for threatening air freight companies with interference from Local 295. In United States v. Frank Cammarano, 89 CR 654 (E.D.N.Y. March 30, 1990) (Glasser, J.), Cammarano was convicted of a similar offense. In United States v. Parker, 88 CR 026 (E.D.N.Y. December 22, 1988) (Weinstein, J.), Local 295 employer George Parker pled guilty to extorting money from air freight companies by threatening to have Local 295 and Local 851 unionize non-union employees.
Defendants' contention that Local 295 is now free of the influence of organized crime rings hollow. Previous assertions that all corruption had been eliminated from the Local proved wrong, and the recent convictions and pleas of its officers argue for continued, close scrutiny.
Significantly, after former Judge Lacey stayed the removal of all but one member of Local 295's Executive Board, the Executive Board on June 24, 1991 sent the membership a "Notice of Special Elections" to replace the removed officers. This special election violated both the International Teamsters Constitution and the Local 295 By-Laws.
For example, the "Notice of Special Elections" announced that "the 50% meeting attendance requirement shall not be enforced as a condition of eligibility to run for office in this election". The Investigations Officer characterized this recent act of Local 295's officers as "designed to allow [the Executive Board] to select their own replacements, unfettered by the Local 295 by-laws and to suit the purposes of the Local's organized crime masters".
This court concludes that there is a likelihood of continued corruption and that the court should appoint a trustee. The record establishes a variety of illegal practices, including efforts to evade detection and prosecution; extensive corruption of the Local's officers and involving the membership; the persistence of corruption over a number of years despite changes in leadership; and a distinct lack of effort to eliminate corruption, by such means as independent auditing, periodic investigations, effective grievance procedures, and independent monitoring of elections.
Defendants claim that replacing the Temporary Trustee or changing his status to a consultant would undermine his ability to negotiate 91 collective bargaining agreements, each of which would last for three years and would effectively destroy the Union's bargaining position with all employers.
Defendants thus pose a trade-off between a trustee capable of vigorously representing the union members and one with investigative experience. That trade-off need not exist. Even if a trustee with investigative expertise is inexperienced in labor negotiations, some arrangement is surely possible with the present trustee--as a consultant, a deputy, etc.--retaining some responsibility for such matters.
Before appointing and specifying the powers of the Trustee, the court must determine the source of funding for the Trusteeship. The court directs the parties to submit within 20 days of date of this memorandum and order papers addressed to this matter.
In an appearance before Judge Edelstein, the United States stated that it would propose to use $ 65,000 in a fund available for the victims of extortions and other RICO violations at Local 295 to finance the trusteeship. The parties should discuss the legal and practical propriety of using this and other sources of funding. The court will consider investing the Trustee with the powers suggested by the United States, but declines to define the terms of the Trusteeship until the court can determine available resources.
Based on its experience with similar RICO trusteeships, the United States will submit, within twenty one days, cost estimates of administering Local 295 as well as of investigating possible corruption.
Counsel for both parties shall also submit, within twenty days, no more than three nominees each for the Trustee, along with the nominees' qualifications.
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
January 31, 1992
Eugene H. Nickerson, U.S.D.J.
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