The opinion of the court was delivered by: EDELSTEIN
EDELSTEIN, District Judge:
This opinion emanates from the voluntary settlement of an action commenced by plaintiff United States of America against, inter alia, defendants International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("IBT") and the IBT's General Executive Board embodied in the voluntary consent order entered March 14, 1989 ("Consent Decree"). Pursuant to the Rules and Procedures for Operation of the Independent Review Board for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("IRB Rules"), P O, the Independent Review Board ("IRB") has made an application to this Court seeking approval of its decision in this matter.
Application XXIII presents for this Court's review the decision of the IRB regarding disciplinary charges brought against Michael Porta, Jr. ("Porta"), a former member of IBT Local 807 located in Long Island City, New York. These charges are contained in an investigative report issued by the IRB on January 30, 1995.
In this report, the IRB charged Porta as follows:
While an IBT member, 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) [of the IBT Constitution] to wit:
While a member of IBT Local 807, you knowingly associated with members of organized crime including Anthony "Sonny" Ciccone and Anthony Anastasio.
(Proposed Charges Against Local 807 Member Michael Porta, Jr., (January 30, 1995), at 25-26.) The IRB forwarded these charges and its report to the IBT on January 30, 1995.
By letter dated January 31, 1995, the IBT referred the charges against Porta back to the IRB for adjudication. A hearing on the above-quoted charges was scheduled for March 15, 1995 ("the hearing"). On February 1, 1995, the IRB sent a Notice of Hearing ("the Notice"), a copy of the IRB investigative report with exhibits, and the IRB Operating and Hearing Rules to Porta. The Notice informed Porta that the purpose of the hearing was to determine whether the charges contained in the investigative report were supported by the evidence, and stated that Porta would "be permitted to present any facts, evidence, or testimony that is relevant to the issues before the IRB." (Independent Review Board Notice of Hearing (January 31, 1995), at 1-2.) The Notice further informed Porta that he had the right to be represented at the hearing by counsel or by an IBT member. Id. at 1. Due to a variety of conflicts, Porta's hearing was rescheduled several times and was held June 7, 1995.
At the hearing, the IRB heard testimony from Special Agent Carmine Russo ("Russo") of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), "an expert witness in organized crime trials," (Opinion and Decision of the Independent Review Board, In re: Michael Porta, Jr. (September 29, 1995) at 2 n.2)) ("IRB Opinion and Decision"), and reviewed Russo's sworn declaration, which was submitted as an exhibit. The IRB also reviewed and submitted as an exhibit the sworn declaration of FBI Special Agent Brian Taylor upon which Russo's testimony at the hearing relied. IRB Opinion and Decision at 1 n.1. Russo testified that Porta was a member of the Gambino Family of La Cosa Nostra in New York and that Porta, at all pertinent times, had associated with members of organized crime. Russo testified that his conclusion was based on his experience investigating organized crime in the New York City area, his review of documents, and his conversations with Special Agents over whom he had supervisory responsibility. The IRB found Russo's testimony and sworn declaration to be credible. IRB Opinion and Decision at 2 n.2, 10.
Following Russo's testimony, Porta appeared and testified at the hearing. Porta was represented by counsel, Mr. Charles L. Weintraub ("Weintraub"), at the time. Although Porta stated that he knew many individuals who are alleged to be members of organized crime or associated with members of organized crime, at the time he associated with these people he was unaware of the fact that these people were alleged to be members of organized crime or associated with members of organized crime. Porta further claimed that he was not a member of organized crime and was not associated with members of organized crime. Porta also testified about his membership in Local 807, the type of labor he performed while a member of Local 807, and his knowledge that some members of Local 807 had been charged with being members of organized crime during his membership in Local 807.
Following this testimony, Porta's attorney, Weintraub, called four witnesses to testify on Porta's behalf. Weintraub first called James Lawrence ("Lawrence"), a member of Local 807. Lawrence testified that he knew Porta, worked with Porta, discussed personal matters with Porta, and considered Porta to be an honest person.
Weintraub also called Bernard Weisman ("Weisman"), a sales representative for a company that sells children's and adults' furniture and accessories. Weisman stated on the record that he knew Porta because Porta had assisted him during several gift shows at the Javits Center when Porta worked at the Javits Center while a member of Local 807. Weisman testified that, as a result of this assistance, he considered Porta to be an excellent and courteous worker. Weisman further stated that Porta had never asked Weisman for money or otherwise acted improperly during their encounters at the Javits Center.
The third witness Weintraub called was Francis T. Genco ("Genco"). From 1990 to 1995, Genco was the manager of installation and dismantle services at Freeman Decorating Company ("Freeman"), the largest general contractor at the Javits Center. Genco testified that during his employment by Freeman he came into contact with Porta at the Javits Center on more than one occasion. Specifically, Porta worked for Genco as a rigger on various exhibits, such as the auto show. Genco described Porta as an excellent worker who interacted well with his co-workers, other ...