the membership asked Sansone about Parrino's criminal ties at a general membership meeting in 1981 or 1982. At the hearing, Sansone contradicted both his prior testimony and Lysell's statement by claiming that the Parrino issue was discussed at general membership meetings, and that he, not the general membership, initiated discussion of this matter. Finally, Benjamin F. Bond, Local 682's current Secretary-Treasurer, stated that Sansone routinely raised the issue of Parrino's ties to LCN at general membership meetings.
5. The Investigations Officer's Charge Against Parrino
On March 13, 1991, the Investigations Officer charged Parrino with membership in LCN while an officer of Local 682, and with "knowingly associating" with members of LCN, including Matthew Trupiano, Anthony Giordano, John Vitale and James Giacamo. Craig informed Sansone of the charge, and also advised him to "take action." (Ind. Admin. Dec. at p. 9). Craig, Sansone and Parrino met on March 15, 1991 to discuss the Investigations Officer's charge, at which time Parrino resigned his office. Parrino resolved the Investigations Officer's charge by signing an agreement on June 11, 1991, in which he neither admitted nor denied guilt. In addition to resigning the Vice Presidency of Local 682, Parrino agreed not to seek or accept any office, membership, or employment, paid or unpaid, in any IBT entities at any time in the future.
C. Decision of the Independent Administrator
The Independent Administrator found that the Investigations Officer had shown just cause for the charge that Sansone breached his fiduciary duty to the general membership of Local 682 by "deliberately ignoring the evidence and failing to investigate the serious and persistent allegations that Parrino was an LCN member." (Ind. Admin. Dec. at p. 11). Determining that Sansone knew of the allegations about Parrino's ties to LCN, and that Sansone had an affirmative duty to investigate these allegations, the Independent Administrator found that Sansone's failure to initiate a thorough investigation constituted a breach of fiduciary duty. (Ind. Admin. Dec. at pp. 12-14).
The Independent Administrator also rejected Sansone's arguments, in which he attempted to justify his conduct in this matter. While Sansone averred that he lacked the resources to initiate an investigation, instead placing this responsibility on the Government, the Independent Administrator found that Sansone had the ability to conduct an investigation. (Ind. Admin. Dec. at p. 14). The Independent Administrator also rejected Sansone's argument that his inaction resulted from reliance on the advice of counsel. The Independent Administrator reasoned that Sansone could not rely on the advice of counsel because, while soliciting advice on his personal liability, "he did not solicit, nor did he receive any advice relevant to the issue of his duty to investigate. . . . Moreover, no expertise, legal or otherwise, is required to understand that a member of organized crime would not belong on the executive board of a union." (Ind. Admin. Dec. at p. 15).
Finally, in summarizing Sansone's conduct in connection with the Parrino matter, the Independent Administrator posited that
in the final analysis, it is clear that Sansone and his advisers turned a blind eye to the alleged corruption in their midst. There was never any genuine acceptance of an affirmative duty to investigate and act on reports of Parrino's ties to organized crime. The persistent discounting of the media reports linking Parrino with the St. Louis La Cosa Nostra is part of the problem. There was never any effort to genuinely consider or critically evaluate any aspect of the many stories that surfaced. Instead, even explicit, detailed statements by verifiable sources, including tapes of recorded conversations were mischaracterized as 'innuendo' or 'insinuation' and the reports were summarily dismissed. . . . Although the duty called for an investigation, denial, not inquiry, was the standard procedure. The pattern that emerges here is one of attempting to calculate the odds that the obligation to act could be avoided without consequences.