Friday, August 6, 2010

The Sounds of Silence

District Council Snubs Thomassen

Why was there no mention of disgraced former District Council  "Unity Team" president, Pete Thomassen, in the summer 2010 issue of The Carpenter Magazine?

Other than a personal note from Local 1456 President Charles Harkin, (see below) congratulating Thomassen, on his retirement, there is not a single word written or any acknowledgment by the District Council or supervisor, Frank Spencer, that Thomassen was ever elected president or appointed assistant supervisor of the District Council.

Even Harkin makes no reference of the disgraced former District Council  "Unity Team" president.

"Pete rose through the ranks of our local, first elected as a trustee, then treasurer, vice president, and finally president/business manager."

Thomassen's career did not stop at "president/business manager," why did Harkin intentionally leave out any reference to Thomassen's ten years as council president?

Why the snub?

Why no retirement party or list of accomplishments for this dedicated servant of our union?

In the winter 2009 issue of "The Carpenter", they had an article on that other disgraced former "Unity Team" partner and District Council vice president, "Dennis Sheil A Great Union Leader Retires."

The fact is Pete Thomassen covered-up for Mike Forde's lies and assisted Forde in conning the members of this union. Instead of honorably representing union members, he sold their interests for his own enrichment.

Forde dispatched Thomasssen, to tell Judge Haight that former Independent Investigator, Walter Mack, was too difficult and costly and wanted to exercise its right to remove him, because Mack was getting to close to uncovering the truth about council corruption.

Thomassen, among other things, blocked Mack's investigation into Forde's corrupt activity, authorized huge pay raises without delegate approval to his assistant, (who was fired for allegedly using a union issued credit card for personal expenses) and his son, (who shaved off the hair on his head and removed all the hair from his body in order to avoid detection of drug use) hired friends and family for council positions, used council property for personal use, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on 5 star restaurants, hotels and first class plane tickets.

In May, the Daily News reported that Peter Thomassen, ran up huge tabs for lavish dinners, parties and junkets.

The silence of the District Council is deafening and their actions speaks volumes.

1 comment:

  1. McCarron, and Spencer, ultimately control content of The Carpenter magazine; Audra C-M Donohue, Director of Communications of NYC District Council of Carpenters, is its Editor.
    From Wikipedia: "The top editor sometimes has the title executive editor or editor-in-chief. This person is generally responsible for the content of the publication... The executive editor sets the publication standards for performance, as well as for motivating and developing the staff. The executive editor is also responsible for developing and maintaining the publication budget. In concert with the publisher and the operating committee, the executive editor is responsible for strategic and operational planning. The executive editor is effectively the head of the newspaper and has considerable influence on its content."
    The article "Congratulations On You Retirement!" was written by Charles Harkin; Donohue assumes responsibility for its publication.
    There is no byline for the author of "Dennis Sheil A Great Leader Retires" in the Winter 2009 issue, indicating Donohue's hand.
    Furthermore; as Director of Communications Audra C-M Donohue is union spokesperson, was contact for Forde, Thomassen, and Sheil, bottom-lining press statements, such as: November 6, 2007, "Immediate Release to All Members," announcing the controversial emergency supervision of Local 157 by the International.
    While it can be argued our Editor, or Director of Communications, does not have final word on content, that Audra C-M Donohue could be fired for any disagreements she might have with her superiors; the integrity of our institutions are of greater precedence.
    Audra C-M Donohue graduated from Fordham and received a master's degree in social work from Columbia, her father was a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She would likely be able to find a prestigious job without much difficulty.
    There exists a pattern of omission in the Carpenter Magazine that has seriously hindered our ability to participate in union democracy. The publication is paid for by the membership but does not serve them, opting to be a brochure rather than a journalistic endeavor.
    Audra C-M Donohue should resign, or effectively promote institution of accountability at NYCDCC, the offices of Editor, and Director of Communication, being elected by the membership.


I would ask that if you would like to leave a comment that you think of Local 157 Blogspot as your online meeting hall and that you wouldn’t say anything on this site that you wouldn’t, say at a union meeting. Constructive criticism is welcome, as we all benefit from such advice. Obnoxious comments are not welcome.