Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Culture of Corruption: Forde and Co-Conspirator's Fired

Michael Forde the indicted head of the carpenters union and his two union paid co-conspirators were fired from office Wednesday by International Brotherhood of Carpenters General President Douglas McCarron.

The firing of district council boss, Michael Forde, 54, as well as John Greaney, 49, a business manager and president of UBC Local 608, and Brian Hayes, 38, a business agent and trustee of Local 608, came one week after they were indicted on federal racketeering and bribery charges.

Mr. McCarron ordered the trio to step down and placed the 25,000 member District Council under emergency supervision.

McCarron also appointed the UBC’s Eastern District Vice President Frank Spencer to lead this supervision for an indefinite period.

McCarron called the indictments "profoundly disturbing."

In 1996, the council was placed under international union supervision amid corruption charges. The oversight was lifted three years later, but the council remained under federal monitoring.

Forde, who has run the district council since 2000, was tried in 2004 and 2008 on bribery charges but was permitted to remain in office following his indictment in those cases. He was convicted in the 2004 case but the conviction was overturned and he was acquitted in the 2008 case.

Also in 2007 Local 157 was placed under emergency supervision by the General President and Spencer was appointed to lead the supervision which lasted about one year.

Forde and his co-conspirators which also included contractor Finbar O’Neill, 44, union shop stewards Michael Brennan, 53 Brian Carson, 49, Joseph Ruocco, 49, John Stamberger, 52, and Michael Vivenzo, 61 and Mr. Olivieri, 54, a benefits fund trustee and the executive director of the Wall, Ceiling and Carpentry Industries of New York were charged in a 29-count indictment with stealing millions from the union and its benefit fund.

In exchange for bribes, prosecutors say, union officials falsified reports and turned a blind eye as contractors paid workers below the union rate, hired non-union labor at union only job sites, and skipped out on payments to the unions’ benefits funds, according to prosecutors.

On Tuesday, it appeared that Mr. Forde might still seek to maintain his position in the union. People briefed on the matter said he would go on disability to seek court-ordered drug treatment and step down from his position as trustee with the union’s benefit funds.

Forde tested positive for cocaine and marijuana use after his arrest, Lisa Zornberg, the assistant United States attorney who is prosecuting the case, said at his arraignment.

No official communication of the emergency supervision has been shared with the membership. You'd think that in the age of computers and smart phones the details of this firing and coup would have already been posted on the councils website, instead members get a UBC logo and a message stating "Under Construction".

Sources say VP Frank Spencer will address the councils delegates this afternoon at a regular schedule meeting and explain the Internationals actions.


  1. I would like to say his firing offers hope to the rank and file that finally the International will remove corrupt UBC Officers. However. In this case McCarron could do nothing else. If he did not remove Forde this time he would be nailing his own coffin.
    It is a sign to the membership that the FBI or other feds given a solid case will go after criminals like Forde. People like Rothamn may be able to but the local NLRB and DOL but the FBI are another story. What a message it sends that it has taken this many years to rid the UBC of these people. Again. The Culture of Corruption.
    I wonder how long the NYC brothers and sisters will fare with a trained chimp(Spencer) running the council. You saw what he did with 157. Watch your back to see what he does with the entire council. Count the petty cash. Lock up the account books and study the constitution and bylaws. Put the DOL on speed dial. You can bet your ass he will try to pull something while they are there to further erode your rights.At least however after all this time in regards to Forde you can all sign "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" and stick a fork in his fat ass

  2. Can someone explain why our elected officials who are supposed to be there for the membership cannot be forced to take lie-detector test, and surprise drug test? All local and District council officers must be held accountable. Over 20,000 members can be a force to be reckoned with. Let's truly clean house now!


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