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UNITED STATES v. INTERNATIONAL BHD. OF TEAMSTERS

October 29, 1996

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, -against- INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, et al., Defendant. IN RE: APPLICATION VI OF THE ELECTION OFFICER


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"). The goal of the Consent Decree is to rid the IBT of the hideous influence of organized crime through a two-phased implementation of the Consent Decree's various remedial provisions. In the first phase of the Consent Decree, these provisions provided for three court-appointed officers: the Independent Administrator to oversee the Consent Decree's provisions, the Investigations Officer to bring charges against corrupt IBT members, and the Election Officer to supervise the electoral process that led up to and included the 1991 election for International Union Office. In the second phase of the Consent Decree, the Independent Administrator was replaced by a three-member Independent Review Board ("the IRB"), but the position of Election Officer remained unchanged.

 Currently before the Court is Application VI of the Election Officer for an Order Approving Supplemental Rules for the 1996 International Officer Mail Ballot Election ("Application VI"). This Court grants the Election Officer's application because this Court finds that the proposed rules: (1) are a proper exercise of the Election Officer's vested powers; and (2) fall within the Election Officer's broad authority to supervise the IBT election process.

 BACKGROUND

 Under the Consent Decree, the Election Officer was responsible for supervising the rank-and-file elections of delegates to the 1991 IBT Convention as well as the subsequent rank-and file elections of IBT officers from among the candidates nominated at the 1991 IBT Convention. United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [1996 Election Rules Opinion], 896 F. Supp. 1349, 1353 (S.D.N.Y. 1995), aff'd as modified, 86 F.3d 275 (2d Cir. 1996); United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [1991 Election Rules Opinion], 931 F.2d 177, 181 (2d Cir. 1991); Consent Decree, P 12(D)(ix). Pursuant to the authority vested in the Election Officer to supervise all phases of the 1991 IBT Election by paragraph 12(D)(ix) of the Consent Decree, the Election Officer promulgated a set of rules governing the general conduct of the 1991 IBT Election, United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [1991 Election Rules Opinion], 742 F. Supp. 94, 97 (S.D.N.Y. 1990), aff'd as modified, 931 F.2d 177 (2d Cir. 1991), as well as supplemental rules regarding ballot counting and other procedural details pertinent to the election process. Order, United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, 88 Civ. 4486 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 11, 1991) ("September 1991 Order"); (Declaration of Barbara Zack Quindel, Election Officer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters ("Quindel Decl.") Ex. 6 (Sept. 5, 1996) (Ballot Counting Rules for the 1991 IBT International Union Officer Election).) This Court reviewed and approved each set of rules proposed by the Election Officer. E.g., 1991 Election Rules Opinion, 742 F. Supp. at 107-108; September 1991 Order.

 According to the original terms of the Consent Decree, the Election Officer was authorized to oversee only those matters and disputes concerning the 1991 IBT Election. Consent Decree, PP 3(1), 12(D)(ix). By Stipulation and Order dated February 7, 1995, however, the Consent Decree was amended to reflect the parties' agreement regarding the supervision of the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election ("the 1996 IBT Election"). See Stipulation & Order Implementing Paragraph 12(D)(ix) of the March 19 [sic], 1989 Consent Decree (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 7, 1995) ("the February 1995 Order"). The February 1995 Order states that "it is the intention of the Government and the IBT that the Election Officer function in 1996 as similarly as possible to the 1991 Election Officer." Id. at 2. The February 1995 Order confers upon the 1996 Election Officer ("the Election Officer") "all rights and duties conferred upon the 1991 Election Officer by paragraph 12 of the Consent Decree," id. P 1, including "the authority granted by Paragraph 12(I) of the Consent Decree to make applications to the Court, after giving notice to specified parties." Id. P 3(c).

 Pursuant to her authority under the Consent Decree and the February 1995 Order, the Election Officer submitted for this Court's approval the Rules for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election ("the 1996 Election Rules"). On August 22, 1995, this Court approved the 1996 Election Rules in their entirety. United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [1996 Election Rules Opinion], 896 F. Supp. 1349 (S.D.N.Y. 1995). On appeal, the Second Circuit affirmed this Court, but held that one provision of the 1996 Election Rules was overly broad, and remanded the 1996 Election Rules to this Court to amend the provision in question. 86 F.3d 271 (2d Cir. 1996). This Court modified the rule in accordance with the Second Circuit's opinion. United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [1996 Election Rules Amendment], 928 F. Supp. 392 (S.D.N.Y. 1996).

 Subsequent to her submission of the 1996 Election Rules, the Election Officer submitted other supplementary election rules for this Court's review and approval. United States v International Bhd. of Teamsters [Application IV of the Election Officer], 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9466, 88 Civ. 4486, 1996 WL 377145 (S.D.N.Y. July 1, 1996) (approving the News Media Access Rules for the 1996 IBT International Union Convention); United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [Application III of the Election Officer], (S.D.N.Y. May 23, 1996) (approving the Supplementary Election Officer Rules for the 1996 IBT Convention Floor Nominations and Nomination Voting).

 In the instant application, the Election Officer submits for this Court's review the proposed Supplemental Rules for the 1996 IBT International Officer Mail Ballot Election ("the Count Rules"). The Election Officer states that the Count Rules are "designed to insure the accuracy and integrity of the count" of ballots cast by IBT members for the election of IBT officers by addressing certain issues not specified in the 1996 IBT Election Rules. (Quindel Decl., PP 13-14); (Memorandum of Law in Support of Election Officer Application VI for an Order Approving Supplemental Rules for the 1996 IBT International Officer Mail Ballot Election, United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, 88 Civ. 4486 ("E.O. Memo"), at 4-5 (Sept. 5, 1996).) These issues include the following:

 
- setting a timetable and schedule for the mailing and counting of ballots, and other election-related events;
 
- announcing the location of the count site and general procedures to be followed for picking up ballots from the postal service;
 
- establishing procedures to be followed for verifying and updating ...

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