Thursday, October 21, 2010

Troubled carpenters union probed for spending big on lawyers, PR and a really nice watch

BY Brian Kates and Alison Gendar

Federal Watchdog Dennis Walsh
The carpenters union spent mountains of cash on lawyers, public relations, even jewelry - all while its leaders were under indictment for looting the coffers.

The lavish spending between July 2009 and last June is being investigated by a court-appointed watchdog hired to oversee the District Council of Carpenters.

The monitor, Dennis Walsh, declined to discuss individual expenses linked to the regime of Michael Forde - who pleaded guilty to racketeering over the summer.

The union did not return calls and its spending report is scant on details for big-ticket expenditures - like a quarter of a million bucks on image-polishing and $8,329 at Raineri's jewelers on the Bowery.
Union rank-and-file are convinced the March 4 charge was for a watch given to a retiring union leader, though the jeweler declined comment.

"How can money be spent on jewelry? Most of the union leadership was drug out in handcuffs. People are out of work. How can those left behind think this kind of spending is still okay?" one disgruntled union member asked.

Eight union leaders have pleaded guilty to charges in an August 2009 indictment that they sold out the membership to line their own pockets.

So perhaps it's no surprise the union paid $1.67 million to at least six different law firms, according to the spending report filed with the Labor Department.

Other big splashouts:
- $332,875 to Barry Security Inc.
- $213,518 to Widmeyer Communications for PR work.
- $149,755 to F.A.B.ulous Specialties for unspecified promotions.
- $56,888 tab at J.C. Fogarty's Town Tavern after an October softball tournament.
- $14,090 for "catering" from Getting Hungry on Varick St.
- $5,400 for a May conference in Las Vegas.

Only one of the indicted bigwigs has refused to cop a plea.

Joseph (Rudy) Olivieri tried to delay the his trial - which started this week - claiming he was injured in an Aug. 5 boating accident.

Manhattan Federal Judge Victor Marrero declined after FBI agents noted Olivieri was hardy enough to hang out in a luxury box at Citi Field with members of the Association of Wall Ceiling and Carpentry Industries on Sept. 14.

Olivieri, who headed the association, claimed he watched much of the game from the couch.


  1. Could this be the reason why Mooney is not returning my calls for my requests to review the receipts and statements used for the NYCDCC LM-2's?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This union has totally been destroyed from the top. Anyone who has anything to do with it deserves their grief.The leaders of this union are the lowest class people you will ever have the misfortune of meeting.They are an embarassment to anyone who has any standards whatsoever.These slobs need to be removed promptly to have any chance of saving this trade for the younger people!!

  5. This union was being destroyed in the fucking 70's & 80's when they took every mother fucker's from Ireland & "THE ISLANDS" money for a brand new shiney carpenters book that usually was accompanied by CASH TO THE BA.There were so many fucking "FOREIGNERS" that alot of times regular union workers sat home doing nothing-couldn't get a job.Now that the union is 20,000 + & there's no work out there-the native born carpenters are the ones who work less than the fucking immigrants.
    Thanks all u scumbag BA's that took home thousands in cash for selling books to unqualified butchers-may u burn in hell eternally.

  6. all b a are on yhe tab

  7. have you asked for them at the council? i do not know if mooney has the authority to release the minutes.

  8. To hell with the minutes. lawrence is hiring his whole crew MITCH SUNTAG,TOMMY SELITTI, LARRY BUCERRA, JOHN THOMASON , MICHAEL MATERRA. WALSH is just another CALLAHAN


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.