Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cooley Testifies To Paying Bribes To Forde

Michael Forde the corrupt former Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New York City District Council of Carpenters, who pleaded guilty to participating in a 15-year racketeering scheme will be sentenced on November 19, 2010.

If you needed any further evidence to demonstrate that Forde was always a corrupt union official, Larry Cooley, a former Suffolk County deputy labor commissioner provided it.

Cooley, testified in the Olivieri trial to paying bribes to Forde and others when he owned Commercial Drywall. Cooley also made Murray a secret partner in his company late in 2004 and 2005.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy fired Cooley, 69, of Greenlawn, after he testified that he made illegal payoffs to union officials.

Cooley - questioned by prosecutors transcript page 717:

Q. Sir, when did you start Commercial Drywall?

A. Approximately 1982, '81.

Q. What would you say were the company's most active years?

A. Probably '85 to '95.

Q. After that did Commercial Drywall's business slow down?

A. Yes, it did.

Q. As of the time that you became deputy commissioner of labor in March of 2004, how active was Commercial Drywall?

A. For all purposes we were slow or gone, not really a viable company anymore.

Q. During the years that you actively ran Commercial Drywall, did you make cash payoffs to officers of the carpenters union?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. To whom?

A. Whoever I had to to make my jobs run smoothly.

Q. Did you pay off Mike Forde?

A. Yes.

Q. Was he the head of the union?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you make payments to shop stewards and business agents?

A. Correct, yes, I did.

Q. For what reason did you do that and what did you get in return?

A. To increase the productivity of my jobs so that I could make a larger profit.

Q. In return for those payoffs, what were you allowed to do in operating Commercial Drywall?

A. There was a 50-50 arrangement as far as having men from the union come to match with your men. I would sometimes be able to change that percentage from 50-50 maybe to 90-10. I was allowed to work longer hours. Whatever. Individual agreements varied depending on individual people that you were doing business with.

Q. Did you pay cash to your carpenters on Commercial Drywall job sites?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Did you fail to pay benefit contributions for at least a portion of your employees?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Did you engage in that conduct even while serving as the president of The Wall & Ceiling Association?

A. No, I didn't. That was only for the one year 1990, and I hadn't really gotten into that at that point.

Q. Is it fair to say that you engaged in payoffs to union officers while on the board of The Wall & Ceiling Association?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Did you talk about that with other people?

A. No.

Q. I want to direct your attention now to the time period in late 2004-early 2005. Where were you working at that time?

A. I was working for the county in Hauppauge, New York.

Q. Can you describe what Commercial Drywall's financial condition was at that time.

A. Pretty poor.

Q. Did you owe back taxes?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. As of late 2004 did Commercial Drywall have an office?

A. Not really, no.

Q. Did it have any regular employees?

A. No.

Q. Did the corporate shell, though, still exist?

A. Yes, it did.

Q. Was Commercial Drywall still a member of The Wall & Ceiling Association?

A. Yes.

Q. As of late 2004-early 2005, were you close with Joseph Olivieri?

A. Yes, I was.

Q. Approximately how often did you see him?

A. We had monthly meetings with the association, and then we had board meetings. There would be other times when we might just have lunch once in a while.

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