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February 11, 1992



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID N. EDELSTEIN

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 Consent Decree provided for three Court-appointed officials, the Independent Administrator to oversee the remedial provisions, the Investigations Officer to bring charges against corrupt IBT members, and the Election Officer to oversee the electoral process leading up to and including the 1991 election for International Officers (collectively, the "Court Officers"). The goal of the Consent Decree is to rid the IBT of the hideous influence of organized crime through the election and prosecution provisions. Pursuant to paragraph F.12(C) of the Consent Decree, the Independent Administrator must decide disciplinary hearings using a "just cause" standard.

 Application LXIV presents for this Court's review the decision of the Independent Administrator finding that the Investigations Officer proved three charges filed against the following three officers of IBT Local Union 100 in Evendale, Ohio: (1) Duane Wilson, a Business Agent; (2) Michael H. Dickins, the President; and (3) Jack Weber, the Secretary Treasurer (collectively the "Respondents"). Specifically, the Independent Administrator found that Wilson assaulted Anthony Hooks, the Vice President of Local 100. The Independent Administrator also found that Dickens and Weber embezzled approximately $ 5,600 from Local 100.


 A. Wilson

 The Investigations Officer charged Wilson with violating Article II, Section 2(a) and Article XIX, Sections 6(b)(2) and (6) of the IBT Constitution for assaulting an Officer of Local 100, Anthony Hooks, on the premises of Local 100. Section 2(a) is the IBT membership oath, which 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 . . . [and shall] never knowingly harm a fellow member." Section 6(b) is a non-exhaustive list of disciplinary charges that may be filed against IBT members. Two such charges are: (1) violating the IBT membership oath; and (2) "assaulting . . . fellow members or officers . . . or any similar conduct in, or about Union premises or places used to conduct Union business." Article XIX, §§ 6(b)(2), 6(b)(5).

 On the evening of March 20, 1991, it is undisputed that Hooks was meeting with trustees of the Local at the Union Hall in connection with an audit of the Local's books. Wilson and Weber were downstairs in a meeting room eating pizza and drinking beer. The subject of audits had become a point of controversy between different factions vying for financial control of the Local. Wilson and Hooks were on different sides of this dispute. At the time, Wilson also opposed Hooks in the election for delegates to the 1991 IBT Convention.

 On the night of March 20, 1991, Hooks went downstairs to get sodas from the barroom. Hooks passed Wilson and Weber on the way to the barroom. Wilson followed Hooks into the barroom and accused him of upsetting IBT members who worked at the Cincinnati Association For the Blind, a Teamster employer where Wilson was assigned as a Business Agent.

 Wilson and Hooks offer different accounts of what happened next. Wilson and Weber testified that Hooks shoved Wilson in the chest and a fight ensued. Hooks testified that Wilson punched him in the face while he was looking in a different direction. According to Hooks, as he tried to flee, Wilson chased, kicked, and repeatedly punched him. When Hooks ran out of the building, Wilson knocked him down, kicked him off a loading dock, and then chased him across the parking lot, finally knocking him to the ground. At that point, Weber told Wilson to stop, and the attack ended.

 It is undisputed that the police then arrived at the scene and arrested Wilson and Weber for the assault. Hooks was treated that night at an emergency room. According to medical records, Hooks had many areas of tenderness on the right side of his face, neck, arm, and shoulder, contusions to the arm and chest, and abrasions on his left knee where he had fallen. Hooks filed criminal charges against Weber and Wilson, and Wilson subsequently filed a criminal charge against Hooks. Wilson's charge against Hooks was dismissed.

 A trial was held before a Magistrate Judge on the charges against Wilson and Weber. The criminal action against Weber was dismissed on motion. Wilson was found not guilty after a bench trial. At the conclusion of the trial, after acquitting Wilson, the Magistrate Judge stated, "Teamsters should handle their own matters and disagreements of the Union."

 The Independent Administrator found that all the evidence corroborated Hooks' version of events. Accordingly, the Independent Administrator found that the Investigations Officer had met his burden and established "just cause" that Wilson assaulted Hooks in violation of Article XIX, Section 6(b)(6) and Article II, Section 2(a) of the IBT Constitution. In addition, the Independent Administrator found that the assault brought reproach upon the Union in violation of Article II, Section 6(b)(2) of the IBT Constitution. In doing so, the Independent Administrator stated:

 The use of such strong arm tactics in connection with an election of International delegates and Local Union Officers, as well as in the context of an intra-Union struggle over the use of the dues payers' money, can only serve to stifle the legitimate political activity that is needed to insure that IBT ...

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