Wednesday, July 28, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Forde, Plea Agreement

Michael Forde, the former Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New York City District Council of Carpenters, pleaded guilty today in Manhattan federal court before United States Magistrate Judge ANDREW J. PECK, to participating in a 15-year racketeering scheme.

FORDE is the eighth defendant in the case to plead guilty.

FORDE admitted that from approximately 1994 through 2004, he received cash bribes from multiple contractors (including On Par Contracting, Turbo Construction, Pyramid Associates Construction, New York City Acoustics, and KAFCI) in return for allowing these contractors to violate the terms of their collective bargaining agreements with the District Council.

Among other things, FORDE admitted that he let these contractors use undocumented workers and avoid making required payments to the District Council benefit funds of which he was the Chairman.

FORDE also admitted to committing perjury in a January 2009 deposition he gave in a civil action brought by the District Council against one of the contractors from whom his co-conspirators had accepted bribes. FORDE further admitted to obstructing efforts to investigate his conduct.

FORDE pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of racketeering, which also carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

FORDE is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge VICTOR MARRERO on November 19, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.

Trial as to the remaining defendants, BRIAN HAYES and JOSEPH OLIVIERI, is scheduled to begin on September 7, 2010, before Judge MARRERO. The charges contained in the Indictment against these defendants are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

FORDE'S guilty pleas to racketeering and conspiracy came little more than a week after John Greaney, who succeeded Forde as president of Local 608, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors against him.

Unlike John Greaney, Forde did not enter a "cooperation agreement" with the Government.

Below is the plea agreement Michael Forde signed on July 28.

Forde, Michael Plea Agreement

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