Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

UNITED STATES v. INTERNATIONAL BHD. OF TEAMSTERS

May 21, 1997

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


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 XLVII presents for this Court's review the decision of the IRB regarding disciplinary charges brought against Mario F. Perrucci ("Perrucci"), a former IBT Vice President, a former Secretary-Treasurer of IBT Local 177 ("Local 177" or "the Local"), as well as a former trustee of the Local 177 Pension Plan. These charges are contained in an investigative report issued by the IRB on July 12, 1995. *fn1" (IRB Investigative Report in the Matter of Mario F. Perrucci, ("IRB Report") (July 12, 1995).) In this report, the IRB charged Perrucci as follows:

 
[Charge One :] While an officer of Local 177 and a union Trustee on the Local 177 Pension Plan, you brought reproach upon the IBT by breaching your fiduciary duties and accepting a thing of value from an employer under contract with Local 177 in violation of Article II, Section 2(a) and Article XIX, Section 7(b)(1), (2) and (13) of the IBT Constitution to wit :
 
In or about May 1994, you obtained a 1986 Bayliner Bowrider 23-foot boat for no more than $ 100 from Joseph Eletto Transfer, Inc., an employer of Local 177 members. At the time you obtained the boat from Joseph Eletto Transfer [Inc.], the fair market value of the boat was, at least, between $ 2,900 and $ 4,900. When you obtained this boat, you were a Local 177 officer and Local 177 had a collective bargaining agreement with Joseph Eletto Transfer, Inc. Moreover, at the time you obtained this boat, you were a Trustee of the Local 177 Pension Plan and employees at Joseph Eletto transfer participated in the Local 177 Pension Plan. By taking this boat for substantially less than the fair market value, you violated applicable law including 29 U.S.C. Section 186(b)(1) and 18 U.S.C. Section 1954.
 
While an officer of Local 177 and a Trustee on the Local 177 Pension Plan, between approximately 1979 and 1990, you accepted free tax services from the accountant for Local 177 and the Local 177 Pension Plan. In addition, each year between approximately 1979 and 1994, you received free Yankee season tickets from the attorney for the Local and the Local 177 Pension Plan. By accepting gifts from service providers to the Local 177 Pension Plan while a Trustee of the Local 177 Pension Plan and a Local 177 officer whose members participated in the Local 177 Pension Plan, you violated 18 U.S.C. Section 1954.

 (Opinion and Decision of the Independent Review Board ("IRB Decision") at 2 (Mar. 25, 1997).) The IRB forwarded these charges and its report to the IBT General Executive Board ("GEB") on July 12, 1995. (Letter from John J. Cronin, Jr., Independent Review Board Administrator, to International Brotherhood of Teamsters General Executive Board (July 12, 1995).)

 On January 23, 1996, the GEB conducted a hearing to consider the proposed charges against Perrucci. (IRB Decision at 3.) On April 17, 1996, the GEB rendered its decision. Id. The GEB determined that the transfer of the boat for $ 100, the free Yankee season tickets, and the free accounting services all constituted gifts of value to Perrucci that were made because of Perrucci's position within the Local. Id. The GEB concluded that Perrucci had brought reproach upon the IBT by his violations of the IBT Constitution and federal law and imposed a two-year suspension from IBT membership and employment with the IBT. Id.

 By letter dated June 10, 1996, the IBT informed the GEB that the IRB viewed the penalty of a two-year suspension imposed upon Perrucci as inadequate, and remanded the matter to the GEB for further consideration. (Letter from John J. Cronin, Jr., Independent Review Board Administrator, to International Brotherhood of Teamsters General Executive Board (June 10, 1996).) By letter dated October 8, 1996, IBT General President Ron Carey advised the IRB that the GEB was increasing the penalty upon Perrucci to a forty-two month suspension. (Letter from Ron Carey, IBT General President to John J. Cronin, Jr., Independent Review Board Administrator (Oct. 8, 1996).) By letter dated October 17, 1996, the IRB again advised the GEB that the IRB deemed Perrucci's penalty inadequate and that, as a result, the IRB would hear the matter de novo. (Letter from John J. Cronin, Jr., Independent Review Board Administrator, to International Brotherhood of Teamsters General Executive Board (Oct. 17, 1996).)

 At Perrucci's request, the IRB agreed to consider the matter based upon the record created during the GEB hearing process, as well as upon supplemental submissions from each party. By letter dated December 16, 1996, Perrucci, through his lawyer, filed with the IRB a submission regarding the charges against him. (Letter from Eric Tunis, Esq., to the Independent Review Board (Dec. 16, 1996).) The IRB Chief Investigator's response to Perrucci's submission was submitted on December 30, 1996, (Memorandum of the Chief Investigator (Dec. 30, 1996)), and Perrucci's reply was submitted on January 8, 1997. (Letter from Eric Tunis, Esq., to the Independent Review Board (Jan. 8, 1997).) Based on the record of prior proceedings and the parties' submissions, on March 25, 1997, the IRB found that the charges against Perrucci had been proved. (IRB Decision at 22-23.) The IRB imposed upon Perrucci a ten-year suspension from IBT membership, and permanently barred him from "holding any position as an officer in the IBT or any of its affiliates, or obtaining employment, consulting work or other work with the IBT or any IBT-affiliated entity." (IRB Decision at 24.)

 DISCUSSION

 This Court will individually review the IRB's findings with respect to the two charges against Perrucci, as well as the sanctions imposed upon him. Before doing so, this Court notes that the law of the Consent Decree is well-settled that this Court's review of the factual findings of the IRB is narrowly circumscribed. Findings of the IRB are entitled to "great deference." See, e.g., United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [Friedman & Hughes], 905 F.2d 610, 616 (2d Cir. 1990), aff'd March 13, 1990, Opinion & Order, 743 F. Supp. 155 (S.D.N.Y. 1990); United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [Raimondi & Bertino], 829 F. Supp. 608, 616-17 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) (citing cases); IRB Rules P O. This Court will overturn IRB findings only when this Court determines that they are, on the basis of all the evidence, "arbitrary or capricious." See, e.g., United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [Sansone], 981 F.2d 1362, 1368 (2d Cir. 1992); United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [Wilson, Weber & Dickens], 978 F.2d 68, 71 (2d Cir. 1992); United States v. International Bhd. of Teamsters [Cimino], 964 F.2d 1308, 1311-12 (2d ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.