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UNITED STATES v. INTERNATIONAL BHD. OF TEAMSTERS

December 9, 1996

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

David N. Edelstein, U.S.D.J.


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 (the "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 XXXIII presents for this Court's review the decision of the IRB regarding disciplinary charges brought against Dominic Froncillo ("Froncillo"), a former member of IBT Local 807 ("Local 807" or "the Local") located in Long Island City, New York. These charges are contained in an investigative report issued by the IRB on February 14, 1996. *fn1" In this report, the IRB charged Froncillo 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, but not limited to, Alphonse Malangone.

 (Proposed Charges Against Former Local 807 Member Dominic Froncillo ("Proposed Charges") (Feb. 14, 1996), at 19.) The IRB forwarded these charges and its report to the IBT on February 14, 1996. (Letter from John J. Cronin, Jr., Independent Review Board Administrator, to International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Ron Carey (Feb. 14, 1996).)

 By letter dated February 15, 1996, the IBT referred the charges against Froncillo back to the IRB. On February 16, 1996, the IRB served upon Froncillo a "Notice of Hearing" (the "Notice"), informing him that a hearing in this matter was scheduled for March 28, 1996, in the IRB's offices in Washington, D.C. (Letter from John J. Cronin, Jr., Independent Review Board Administrator, to Dominic Froncillo (Feb. 16, 1996).) The Notice also informed Froncillo that, at his hearing, he could "present any evidence relevant to defense of the charges against [him]." Id. In addition, the Notice notified Froncillo of his "right to be represented at the hearing by counsel or by an IBT member." Id.

 On February 20, 1996, Froncillo acknowledged his receipt of the Notice, and requested that the hearing be held in New York instead of Washington, D.C. (Letter from Dominic Froncillo to John J. Cronin, Jr., Independent Review Board Administrator (Feb. 20, 1996).) On February 23, 1996, the IRB informed Froncillo that his request had been approved, and that his hearing now was scheduled for April 23, 1996, in Manhattan. (Letter from John J. Cronin, Jr., Independent Review Board Administrator, to Dominic Froncillo (Feb. 23, 1996).) On March 26, 1996, the IRB telephoned Froncillo's residence to confirm Froncillo's receipt of the IRB's February 23, 1996, letter. (Letter from John J. Cronin, Jr., Independent Review Board Administrator, to Dominic Froncillo (Mar. 26, 1996).) The IRB's March 23, 1996, letter states that "the woman who answered the [phone] call stated that you received [the] February 23, 1996 letter . . . and, as far as she knew, you plan to be at the April 23, 1996[,] hearing in New York." Id.

 On April 23, 1996, the IRB held a hearing on the charges against Froncillo in Manhattan (the "hearing"). Froncillo appeared at the hearing without counsel. At the hearing, the Chief Investigator presented the IRB with exhibits, including a declaration by FBI Special Agent Brian F. Taylor ("Taylor"), and heard brief testimony from Taylor. (Opinion and Decision of The Independent Review Board, In re: Dominic Froncillo ("IRB Opinion & Decision") at 1 (July 2, 1996).) Taylor has been "an expert witness" in numerous organized crime trials and "has worked for the FBI for over nineteen years, eighteen of those conducting organized crime investigations." Id. at 2 n.2. Because Froncillo elected not to testify, "the evidence tendered by the Chief Investigator was uncontradicted and unchallenged by Froncillo." Id. at 1-2.

 Froncillo also testified at his deposition that he knew Alphonse ("Ally Shades") Malangone ("Malangone") for ten to fifteen years. Id. at 5. The Chief Investigator presented the IRB with substantial evidence that Malangone was a member of the Genovese La Cosa Nostra ("LCN") Family. For example, according to Taylor's declaration, Malangone is a "Capo" in the Genovese LCN Family. Id. at 2; (Proposed Charges at Exh. 3, at 8.) In addition, Malangone's ties to organized crime are well-publicized. (IRB Opinion & Decision at 7.) In April 1988, the United States Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a report publicly identifying Malangone as a member of the Genovese LCN Family. Id. The New York Daily News and The New York Times also have reported Malangone's ties to organized crime. Id. Moreover, Malangone's ties to organized crime have been corroborated by self-admitted members of the Gambino LCN Family, such as Salvatore ("Sammy the Bull") Gravano ("Gravano") and Vincent Cafar, as well as by Alphonse D'Arco, the former "acting Boss" of the Luchese LCN Family. Id. at 2. Gravano described Malangone as a Genovese "Family Captain . . . [who] is into Shylocking, gambling, the Fulton Fish market, a Brooklyn disco, and the Javits Center." Id. at 3. Law enforcement officials also have observed Malangone with other LCN members, including Gambino LCN Family Boss John Gotti ("Gotti") and Gravano. Id. at 2-4.

 In addition, the Chief Investigator presented the IRB with evidence that Malangone associated with organized crime figures on many occasions over a substantial period of time. For example, Malangone attended a number of "organized crime celebrations." Id. at 4. First, on December 20, 1988, Malangone attended Gotti's Christmas party at the El Caribe Country Club in Brooklyn, New York. Id. Second, On April 16, 1989, detectives of the Kings County District Attorney's Office surveilled Pastels Disco, a Brooklyn disco which Malangone managed. Id. On that night, the FBI believes that a reception was held to celebrate the induction of Malangone's son Frank into the Genovese LCN Family. Id. Third, on October 27, 1989, the Organized Crime Task Force observed Malangone arriving with Genovese LCN Family member Alan Longo ("Longo") at the Ravenite Social Club in New York City for Gotti's birthday. Id. Fourth, on November 18, 1989, New York City Police Department detectives observed Malangone at the Scarpaci Funeral Home in Brooklyn for the wake of "Crazy" Tommy Contaldo, a former member of the Genovese LCN Family. Id. at 2, 5. Fifth, on February 28, 1990, detectives from the Waterfront Commission of New York harbor surveilled the 461 Court Street Club in Brooklyn, the Gambino LCN Family social club. Id. at 5. The detectives witnessed Malangone meeting at the club with a large number of LCN figures, including Gotti, and other individuals who the FBI considers Gambino LCN Family members: Anthony Ciccone, Jerry Brancato, Anthony Pimpinella and Anthony Anastasio. Id. Sixth, on September 19, 1992, law enforcement officials observed Malangone at the wedding reception of Daniel Marino, Jr., the son of Gambino LCN Family Capo Daniel Marino, Sr., at the Garden City Hotel. Id. at 4-5.


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