Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Crooked 608 official strikes plea bargain

by Meredith Regan

John Greaney, former president of the Local 608 (part of the Carpenters Union), has pleaded guilty to thirteen felony charges including corruption, racketeering, embezzlement, bribery, and perjury, whilst serving in office.

The Carpenters Union is a national labor union that represents skilled workers. In New York City, approximately 20,000 members of the union are divided into eleven locals, overseen by the District Council. Greaney was the president and business manager of Local 608, the largest local in the District Council, with approximately 7,400 members, many of whom are Irish or Irish American. Before his arrest in August of last year Greaney, whose mother came to the US from Swinford, Co. Mayo, was a prominent member of the Irish American community in New York.

The Yonkers resident (50) is thus-far the highest ranking of the ten union officials charged in the case to plead guilty. He agreed to divulge all information regarding his former boss Michael Forde and fellow union official Brian Hayes after Manhattan Federal Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman warned him he faced up to 155 years in jail if he failed to comply. Among other confessions, he has admitted to sharing bribes with Forde, formerly the head of the union.

Along with several others, Greaney is accused of overseeing wide-ranging corruption and malpractice within the union. He has stated that his involvement in the fifteen-year scheme allowed him to reap financial benefits, such as taking cash payoffs from contractors in exchange for allowing them to hire illegal workers. Prosecutors say Forde, Greaney, and Hayes all permitted and even assisted certain contractors to deprive union workers of benefits, and allowed them to pay union members below-union rates. Greaney has also confessed to helping contractors cheat the union benefit fund.

It is alleged the defendants concealed the scheme by destroying official union documents, issuing union cards to undocumented workers, and filing false shop steward reports. All of the defendants are out on bail and are scheduled to be sentenced at various sittings from July to December.

Commenting on the case, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said: "John Greaney's guilty plea unfortunately confirms that corruption has been deeply entrenched within the Carpenters Union. In today's tough economic times, the jobs of tradesmen cannot be entrusted to leaders making back-door deals to line their own pockets. The hardworking men and women of the Carpenters Union deserved better."

Greaney has been ordered to give up $100,000 which he illegally acquired during his time as president, and must surrender to US Marshalls before August 20th to begin serving his sentence. He is expected to be tried in Manhattan Federal court in September, and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 17th.

1 comment:

  1. Greaney's boy Daly needs to be taken out next if the fed's open their eyes.


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