Two top officials of the carpenters union were acquitted Tuesday night of taking bribes from mobsters to allow nonunion workers on Manhattan construction sites.
After deliberating 90 minutes, the panel delivered the verdict to Michael Forde, executive secretary to the 25,000-member New York City District Council of Carpenters, and business agent Martin Devereaux.
"It's been a long 10 years," Devereaux said, minutes after the verdict was delivered in Manhattan Supreme Court.
He and Forde were charged in September 2000, but allegations surfaced two years earlier of them taking a $10,000 bribe from Sean Richard, the former son-in-law of the imprisoned boss of the DeCavalcante crime family.
The money was described as a down payment on a promised $50,000 bribe. Their 2004 convictions were overturned after jurors were discovered debating a Village Voice article highly critical of Forde and Devereaux.
"I'm happy that justice has been served, but the wheels of justice grind slowly," said Forde.
Devereaux said he was "very happy for the carpenters all around New York City because we have finally cleared our name and the name of our union."Related articles