Sunday, April 4, 2010


The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America is looking into allegations that a union representing carpenters across the state disproportionately burdened upstate members with millions of dollars in investment losses stemming from Madoff’s fraud.

The UBC has scheduled hearings in Albany on actions taken by the Empire State Regional Council of Carpenters, which is based in Westchester County. Below is commentary and testimony by UBC brother Richard Dorrough.


I attended the first day of hearings on March 30, but due to an emergency missed the second. My testimony was read into the record by brother John Newell. The turn out was much larger than they expected. They had to open a second room to accommodate members and the first day was still wall to wall standing room only.

The member presence was mostly a mix of downstate and central New York members with a rather small but committed turnout of Albany members.

Local 370 members were there none the less. At all times the membership conducted themselves in a manner befitting UBC members. There were no outbursts or disruptions despite the volatile nature of the hearings.

Upon entering the hotel members were directed to a basement floor meeting room in the Crowne Plaza.

Members were required to show ID and checked against the list. Security was present and members were forced to be scanned before entering the room.

Perhaps the Empire Council and the UBC did understand the severity of stealing member’s futures and robbing their accounts. I arrived at 8am and already the room was full. I signed for testimony and was number 38.

The hearing was called to order by Chairman Draper at 8:30 am. The first two called to testify were Frank Spencer and Jack Simmons.

It was clear from the start that Morin’s future is cooked. Both Spencer and Simmons accused Morin and Simmons quite aggressively, threw Morin under the bus.

It was rather amusing to hear the man who put us in these funds and has lined his pockets with member’s monies berate Morin.

If anyone besides Morin is to be held accountable it should be Simmons and Fuchs. What a poor choice by the UBC as a character assassin against Morin.

Go back and check the 5500s, 990, LM2s and LM30s to see how much Simmons has raked out of the members. The records show that much of this devastation Simmons orchestrated before he bailed. Check to see if he and Hicks emptied their accounts when they left. Morin was offered the chance to testify early but choose to wait.

Many officers, ex officers and delegates testified. A rather testy exchanged occurred later in the day between Dave Davies and Patrick Morin. It appeared Morin does not like members having meeting minutes for evidence.

All the testimony, with the exception of two members who made vain attempts to make "I Love Morin" speeches, were negative against Morin and the Empire Council.

Many disturbing allegations were made. The atmosphere of harassment and intimidation alleged in the Empire Council clearly exists based on the testimony given.

Morin choose to testify in the second session and it was clear from the start that the "Pit Bull" Chairman Draper was nobody's fool and was not going to accept lies.

He and Morin shared many heated exchanges.
Morin set the stage in his opening statement when he accused the UBC International of bias in its decision to hold these hearings and question his actions.

Morin stated "Other pension funds reduced their accrual rates such as the Adirondack Pension Fund and the International did nothing. Where were you then??" The tone had been set and Chairman Draper responded with vigor.

Mr. Draper was primed and ready as he questioned Morin. He was not accepting the answers and excuses Morin gave and told him so.

He told Morin to the effect he "was not born yesterday."

At one point he basically called Morin a liar. "You can lie here to me today Pat but you will not lie to the next people you are going to appear before.

You are under oath here today. Thy will read what you testified to today and we will see if you change you testimony to them."

Draper grilled Morin over and over on many issues and parts of his testimony.

Morin was backed into a corner and the exchange became quite terse many times. Draper was nobodies fool and had the tenacity of a pit bull. Morin was finally allowed to slink away.

Before the break Chairman Draper called out to the seated and standing members for Empire Council President David Haines.

Haines was standing against the side wall and identified himself to the chairman.

Chairman Draper asked Haines if he was scheduled to testify. He responded he was not. Chairman Draper asked him to testify since he was mentioned many times in what seemed to be situations that implicated Morin.

Mr. Haines REFUSED to testify.

Chairman Draper made him aware that he felt his testimony was very important and that while he could not make him testify he was asked to reconsider and testify.

Haines never testified. It was obvious he was not going to bury Morin.

The day was an interesting experience and, one although we could hope would never be necessary, was a day not to be missed by any UBC member.

It was a fine example of UBC justice at work. It was the example all disenchanted members needed to see.

It was proof that if you stand up and fight back you can bring these arrogant and pompous little men to justice.

For whatever motive the UBC was present and called these hearings they were in fact there.
These self proclaim untouchables were put on the carpet and if common sense prevails will be gone and prosecuted by the proper authorities.

We can only hope the UBC International will send a clear message to the membership and the signatory contractors that enough is enough.

Let us hope they do not replace these corrupt elements with more of the same.

Testimony of Richard Dorrough

1 comment:

  1. When did Carpenter's Union change from direct election of biz-agents to appointed ones?

    What about from direct elections of the Regional "Executive Officer" to one elected by "delegates"?

    Are these Delegates all elected or appointed? 

    Is this the same for all Carpenter's Unions?  What about Northern California?

    What is N CA exc. officer Bob Alvarado's background?  Was he ever an actual carpenter for any length of time?  Where?


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