Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Feckless Leaders Violate Member Rights And Give Continued Support To Criminals Who Fleeced $751,235

Devereaux and Forde celebrate fleecing membership.
Like any good criminal, Michael Forde the self-confessed, racketeer, perjurer, bribe-taker, liar and drug/alcohol addict never missed an opportunity to enrich himself at the expense of his membership.

On July 9, 2008 at a regular schedule council delegate meeting, Forde had his No. 2 man and self-confessed co-criminal, former Local 608 president/business manager, John Greany, make a motion to reimburse legal fees totaling $751,235 spent by Michael Forde and Martin Devereaux, in connection to what may be the city’s longest running bribery case.

In light of Forde's guilty plea on July 28, which he admitted among other things, "conning the members for at least 16 years, taking a steady stream of payoffs from contractors," Last week I made a "motion" for the UBC to "sue Michael Forde and Martin Devereaux" and recover the $751,235 they fleeced from the membership.

Local 157 President/Director of Operations and Forde appointed Benefit Fund Trustee, Lawrence D’Errico, read the motion and asked for a second. Without missing a beat and right on cue, Vice President/Representative, Anthony Pugliese, raised his hand and made a motion "to table," stating that Forde was "found innocent of the charges and entitled to the reimbursement."

Pugliese is certainly entitled to his own opinion. However he is not entitled to suppress the opinions of others. His motion “to table” was completely out of order and a violation of the spirit of Roberts Rules of Order because it would permit debate to be suppressed by a majority vote, and only a two-thirds vote can do that.

UBC Brother Richard Dorrough commented, "Pugliese had no right to "table the motion" until it was determined if there was second" and until D'Errico invite members who are both for and against the motion to discuss it and call for a vote.

D'Errico as the presiding officer has a duty to remain impartial and protect the rights of the minority. Robert’s Rules of Order makes the Chair the servant of the assembly, not the police officer of it. D'Errico had no right to accept Pugliese's motion “to table.”

It is obviously clear from their actions that these two feckless leaders "were conspiring not only to violate members rights" by suppressing our collective voice but to also give "continued support to a convicted criminal."

"What the hell is going on, you have one criminal (Forde) conspiring with another criminal (Greaney) to steal our money...somebody's got to do something about this...it's insane $751,253!"

"I can't find work or pay my bills, this just makes me sick," said one disgruntled nail-driver after the meeting who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

D’Errico and Pugliese also failed to mention Fordes guilty plea, or any of Forde's co-conspirators, nine of 10 defendants in the case plead guilty.

They also failed to mention the changes in council leadership and the numerous council representatives that have suddenly retired, resigned, been suspended and fired.

Devereaux was fired last month for "misusing union money and refusing to cooperate with federal watchdog Dennis Walsh."

Why the silence? What do they have to hide? Is this their idea of supervisor Spencer's "open-forum"?

Instead the dais of "representatives" talked a lot but said nothing! They bored the membership with verbose meaningless canned reports.

At one point D'Errico put several of the over 100 members in attendance to sleep with his senseless 1/2 hour reading of Walsh’s trial committee procedures.

Forde Holdover, De Facto Carpenter Boss D'Errico.
D'Errico who was recently appointed "Director of Operations" by UBC Supervisor Frank Spencer, replaced Maurice Leary, who suddenly retired immediately after Michael Forde copped a plea, is now the "De facto" head of the scandal-scarred carpenters union. He should have acted more appropriately and more responsibly, making a greater effort to inform and protect members rights.

Review Officer, Dennis Walsh, has recently "requested all locals to provide his office with electronic copies of all minutes of executive board and regular monthly meetings".

The membership was entitled to a healthy serious spirited debate on the merits of the motion since it's their money that Forde fleeced.

Instead both D’Errico and Pugliese, trampled on our rights. We learned nothing and it was business as usual!

Willie Sutton, when asked why he robbed banks simply replied, "Because that's where the money is."

For 16 years, Michael Forde made a career out of corruption, at the helm of one of New York City's largest unions, the New York City District Council of Carpenters, “Because that's where the money is."

Instead of honorably representing union members, he sold our interests for his own enrichment.

In 1999 Michael Forde was president/business manager of Local 608 and running for the newly created top position of executive secretary treasurer of the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

Forde's predecessor,  Fred Devine, now deceased was convicted in 1998 of stealing union funds.

Between Devine's reign and Forde's election, the UBC under the leadership of new general president, Douglas J. McCarron seized control of the Council in 1996 on charges of corruption and favoritism to mobsters.

Fred Devine was abruptly dismissed along with his four top aides and the Council placed under supervision.  The UBC relinquished that control with the election of Forde saying they have “accomplished their goals.”

Despite the rumors of a pending indictment and persistent allegations of cocaine use and bribe taking from Fordes opponents, such as veteran dissident carpenter Gene Clark, and union activist Mike Bilello, Forde won office promising his administration would be the “most corruption-free in the union's history” and vowed a “vigorous attack on nonunion construction work.”

You wanted to believe and trust him. After all the Council had just come out of a frustrating three-year supervision and the three previous council leaders had each been charged with racketeering.

That trust was misplaced and soon shattered, on September 6, 2000 when the Manhattan district attorney charged 38 union officials, contractors and reputed mobsters with bribery, bid-rigging or other racketeering schemes that siphoned millions of dollars from construction projects.

Michael Forde and Martin Devereaux were among 38 people named in the sweeping racketeering indictment. They are the only cases to make it to trial — six cases were dismissed and the rest of the defendants arranged plea deals.

According to the indictment, in June of 1998, while Forde was serving as president of Local 608, and Devereaux a business agent in charge of overseeing the renovation of the Park Central Hotel, agreed to take a $50,000 bribe from a mob-controlled contractor while dining at a midtown Hooter’s restaurant in exchange for letting him use nonunion workers.

The two didn’t go to trial on those charges until 2004 when they were convicted on April 27, of taking a bribe from a mob-run firm to let it use nonunion workers and allow the builder to violate union work rules during the renovation of the Park Central Hotel.

Even after Forde and Devereaux were indicted and convicted, both insisted on their innocence.
Big Spending Pete Thomassen.

At a May 12, 2004 meeting, former President Pete Thomassen, who was suddenly forced to resign in May 2010, amid revelations of massive spending on steak dinners, junkets and parties, expressed his surprise at the guilty verdict.

"Even to those people who attended the trial and listened to the testimony, the guilty verdicts were astounding and many felt were unsupported by the evidence,” Thomasssen said.

Thomassen told the delegates he attended the trial daily and was "shocked at the verdict", citing the fact that there was "no witness at the trial who admitted to actually passing a cash bribe to Mike Forde or Martin Devereaux.”

Thomassen stated that Forde and Devereaux "would remain in office despite the jury’s guilty verdict."

He said that "under Section 504 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, union officials convicted by a jury trial can continue to hold their offices until such date as they are sentenced."

He also said he has been in contact with General President Doug McCarron and the "District Council has his full support regarding this matter."

The trial judge later overturned the conviction on April 29, 2005, stating that jurors had improperly discussed the case during deliberations. The judge also said jurors had read an article about it —in the Village Voice!

Forde and Devereaux were retried in 2008 and once again found themselves facing a jury. This time their able attorneys won. The jury deliberated all of 90 minutes on the evening of June 10, 2008 and voted to acquit both defendants.

"The circumstantial evidence was compelling," said one juror a few days later. "Still, the defense piled on the nagging doubts, and I wasn't convinced enough to send the guys to jail."

The summer 2008 issue of "The Carpenter" ran a full page article titled, "Union Leaders Found Not Guilty!"

"Our officers get up every morning with one goal: to fight for the working men and women of this city...Each and every day, they help to ensure that jobsites are safe and workers are being paid fair wages...What they are NOT doing is taking bribes or behaving improperly."

Greany’s July 9th motion to reimburse the two leaders was passed without any debate and without any documented proof of legal expenses paid by Forde and Devereaux. 

Thomassen, the presiding officer also told the delegates that the two union leaders "received about $150,000 in fund-raising contributions," which would be "returned to the donors," and any monies left over "would be donated to the Charles Johnson Scholarship Fund."

Informed sources said that the bulk of the contributions to Forde and Deveraux came from a shakedown of council representatives who were encouraged to pony up a big donation.

“No contribution was ever returned to me," a union representative who did not want to be identified said.

An informed source at the District Council said the Charles Johnson, Jr. Memorial Scholarship is funded "100 percent by employer base contributions into the welfare fund and donations by individuals are not accepted."

District Council supervisors could not be reached for immediate comment.

Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil, is the latest example of the unaccountability of Forde team holdover and new carpenter boss Lawrence D'Errico.

Until all of you, the members of the New York City District Council of Carpenters stand up and demand that the stench of Forde be removed, we will continue to see our rights violated and we will not end the continued decades of corruption, court orders and monitoring of our District Council.

It's up to you, call UBC Supervisor Frank Spencer at 212-366-7500 or e-mail him. Tell Mr. Spencer you have had enough of the crimes against our District Council and demand he take action to recover the monies Forde and Devereaux fleeced. Tell him you had enough of these so-called "representatives" who violate your rights.

If Spencer doesn't act, call or e-mail Review Officer, Dennis Walsh, at 914-437-9058 and ask him to investigate this blatant misuse of our monies and violation of our rights.


  1. How could Anthny Puggt Pugliese say" Mike Forde is innocent when he pleaded guily

  2. John,
    Please call Brother James Brady of Local 747 in Syracuse. He is a Parliamentarian and expert with Roberts Rules.His is expecting your call at 1-315-303-4714. He has confirmed that Derrico had no right to accept Puggys motion since you had the floor and he would have had to taken the floor from you and given it to Puggy. You had the Floor and not having it Puggy could NOT make the motion

    "Persons are commonly in such a hurry to make this motion that they neglect to address the chair and thus obtain the floor. In such case one of the minority should address the chair quickly, and if not given the floor, make the point of order that he is the first one to address the chair, and that the other member, not having the floor, was not entitled to make a motion"

    Further the big mistake Puggy and El Aurence(In this particular case Aurence is Arabic for camels ass) have made is the same one dumb ass Local clowns always make. They incorrectly believe tabling a motion kills it. Wrong!!!Typical dumb ass. Your motion is not dead and can be taken up at any time to debate it and vote on it. I wont put here the correct wording required to kill your motion. No sense educating the dumb ass and his pal Puggy. Judging by the talk from the convention El Aurence is still to busy trying to get McCarrons glom off his chin and the brown ring of Dougys ass off his nose to study Roberts Rules.
    Has Walsh been made aware of their actions???Call Jim Brady

  3. What Pugliese tried to do - Object to Consideration: Objection must be stated before discussion or another motion is stated.

    What Pugliese actually did - Lay on the Table: Temporarily suspends further consideration/action on pending question; may be made after motion to close debate has carried or is pending.

    What can done about it - Take from the Table: Resumes consideration of item previously "laid on the table" - state the motion to take from the table.

  4. If Walsh doesn't stop it here, excuse me expect one of us to start this ball rolling, he's gotta be told this is the way they've been carrying meetings for many decades. With the same players as today so what has the past twenty gotten us. They opoerated this way under Mack, WHOM BY THE WAYW WASN'T ABLE TO DO MUCH ABOUT LOCAL POLITICS with Callahan they had free run. Being they execute this tabling without further debate ?
    I've not heard much debated at all. As soon as they get a grip on where the membership is going when someone does raise a point of order or make motions ( which do not agree w/them ), they stop any further conversation. PERIOD.

  5. If the local membership overwhelmingly denounce Mac what the hell are they still doing there vote them out. NOONE WITH ANY TIES TO THE LAST TEN ADMINISTRATIONS.

  6. You could not say it any better. If you don't remove them all. They just start all over again. An infestation you need to exterminate That Lawrence D'Errico and Paul Caperso are at the root

  7. OK Thanks Rich, I will give James a call...


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