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UNITED STATES v. INTL. BHD. OF TEAMSTERS

March 1, 1995

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, -against- INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, et al., Defendant. IN RE: APPLICATION XVII OF THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW BOARD


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

 EDELSTEIN, District Judge:

 This opinion emanates from the voluntary settlement of an action commenced by plaintiff, the United States of America, against defendants, International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("IBT"), et al. This settlement was embodied in a voluntary consent order entered March 14, 1989 ("the Consent Decree"). Pursuant to paragraph O of the Rules and Procedures for Operation of the Independent Review Board for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("the IRB Rules"), the Independent Review Board ("the IRB") has made an application to this Court, seeking approval of the IRB's decision in this matter.

 Application XVII presents for this Court's review the IRB's decision regarding disciplinary charges brought against Edward Garafola ("Garafola"), a member of IBT Local 813, which is located in New York City, New York. "In reviewing actions of the IRB, this Court [applies] the same standard of review applicable to review of final federal agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act." See IRB Rules, P O. Thus, this Court must determine whether the IRB's decision was arbitrary and capricious.

 The charges that the IRB brought against Garafola are contained in an investigative report issued by the IRB on July 12, 1994. *fn1" Garafola was charged as follows:

 Charge One:

 
While a member of Local 813, you brought reproach upon the IBT and violated your membership oath in violation of Article II, Section 2(a) and Article XIX, Section 7(b)(1)[,] (2) and (9)[,] to wit:
 
While a member of IBT Local 813, you were a member of organized crime.
 
While a member of Local 813 you violated Article XIX Section 14 (i) of the Constitution and obstructed, interfered and unreasonably failed to cooperate with the duties of the Independent Review Board as set forth in paragraph G of the March 14, 1989 Consent Decree in United States v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 88 Civ. 4486 (S.D.N.Y.), to wit:
 
On June 17, 1994, you wilfully and without justification refused to appear for your sworn in-person examination pursuant to Paragraph H.3 (c) of the Rules and Procedures for Operation of the Independent Review Board for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

 (Decision of the Independent Review Board In Re: Edward Garafola (January 3, 1995), Ex. A. at 6-7).

 On October 6, 1994, the IRB sent a Notice of Hearing to Garafola at his residence. This notice stated that a hearing on the above-quoted charges was scheduled for November 3, 1994 ("the hearing"). Along with this notice, the IRB sent a copy of the IRB Investigative Report, with exhibits, and a copy of the IRB Operating and Hearing Rules. Mr. Garafola failed to attend the hearing on November 3, 1994.

 At the hearing, the IRB heard testimony from Special Agent Brian F. Taylor ("Taylor") of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"). The IRB also reviewed Taylor's sworn declaration, which was executed on September 30, 1994, and which was submitted as an exhibit at the hearing. Based on Taylor's testimony regarding his experience with the FBI, the IRB found that Taylor had extensive experience investigating matters involving La Cosa Nostra. Taylor testified that Garafola was a member of the Gambino Family of La Cosa Nostra. Taylor stated that his testimony was ...


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