Friday, July 16, 2010

Ex-Carpenters union head John Greaney pleads guilty to racketeering, embezzlement, bribery, prejury

BY Scott Shifrel

A former leader of New York's carpenters union pleaded guilty Friday to a slew of corruption charges, becoming the seventh official to cut a deal with the feds.

John Greaney, 60, former president and business manager of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters' Local 608, copped to racketeering, embezzlement, taking bribes and perjury.

He admitted he manipulated union work lists and allowing union members, including illegal immigrants, to work off the books.

He also implicated other union members, including the powerful head of the union, Michael Forde.

"I shared in the illegal cash payments I received from contractors," Greaney said, admitting that he also shared the money with Forde and former business agent Brian Hayes.

He also admitted lying under oath to deny the scheme and obstruct a court-ordered investigation of corruption at the carpenters union District Council, where Forde served as secretary-treasurer until he was busted last year.

Greaney made the statements at a hearing before federal Magistrate Henry Pitman after signing a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney's office.

Greaney, who faces up to 155 years in prison, declined comment.

Of the 10 union officials charged in the massive corruption scheme last year, he is the highest ranking to plead guilty.

Prosecutors say the officials took bribes in exchange for letting contractors pay below-union wages and withhold benefits from workers.

"John Greaney's guilty plea unfortunately confirms that corruption has been deeply entrenched within the Carpenters Union," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

"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."

Forde and Hayes are expected to be tried in Manhattan Federal Court in September.


  1. I cant believe those scumbags have been at all the 608 meetings and functions since being removed,smiling the whole time!!!!!!

    Hayes better not be at the next meeting!

  2. Kind of makes you wish all representatives would be forced to take a polygraph before and during their tenure!!!! When are the members of this union going to get smart? Wonder if 5 or 10 years from now (if there's a union) we will see Spencer, Meberg, and the like, go down....why wait???

  3. thank god i am a civil service carpenter. good luck too all you hard working brothers out there.


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