Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Carpenter Boss D’Errico Admits Trustees Followed Bad Advice

D'Errico says he followed bad advice.
In a stunning admission, carpenter boss and last remaining benefit fund trustees from the corrupt Forde administration, Lawrence D’Errico, said the trustees followed bad advice given by professional actuaries who said there would be no negative impact on the "Officers Pension Plan" if the retirement age was dropped to fifty and allow for an "opt out" provision.

In 2004 the trustees voted to lower the retirement age to fifty and allow an "opt out" provision to the officers pension plan. This "opt out" provision allowed senior officers who paid the maximum amount into the pension plan to stop paying their employee share and instead put their contribution into their own annuity account for their own enrichment. The change had a profoundly negative impact on the financial health of the plan.

At the time of the change to the officers pension plan, Michael Forde was approaching fifty years of age and facing trial along with Martin Devereaux, in connection to their September 6, 2000 bribery case.

The two were convicted in that case in 2004, but a Manhattan Supreme Court justice tossed the conviction in 2005 because some jurors had read news accounts of the case. The pair was acquitted after a second trial in June 2008.

D’Errico who is also director of operations of the New York City District Council of Carpenters and president of local 157 made the stunning remark at the November 15, union meeting when asked a question about the status of the “Officers Pension Plan.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

New York Carpenters Boss Michael Forde Sentenced

Submitted by Carl Horowitz

Michael Forde photo
Standing before a judge in Manhattan federal court on Friday, November 19, Michael Forde learned the price of high living and the crime that made it possible: 11 years in prison. For some members of the organization he once headed, the New York District Council of Carpenters and Joiners, that isn't long enough. Forde had pleaded guilty to racketeering, bribery and perjury in late July in connection with taking as much as $1 million in illegal contractor bribes and skimming many millions more from union benefit funds. The Justice Department uncovered the scheme as part of a probe that recently netted guilty pleas from eight persons and the jury conviction of Genovese crime family-linked contractor Joseph Olivieri. In addition to serving time, Forde must forfeit $100,000 in cash, pay a $50,000 fine, and pay restitution that union officials put at $18 million.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hardhat unions in trouble as major developers want them to take cuts

Unionized construction workers are looking at more pay cuts if they want work.
By Adam Lisberg 
Happy holidays, hardhats. Life may look a lot different this time next year.

A convulsion is looming in New York's ailing construction industry.

Major developers say they won't start building again without significant cuts in their labor costs, with work-rule, benefit and wage savings of 20% or more.

Nonunion contractors are improving their skills and making inroads in the tall Manhattan buildings that have been union-built since the beginning of time.

Meanwhile, union hardhats looking at 20% unemployment or more in their trades have grudgingly accepted work-rule changes and wage freezes on a project-by-project basis - but they're balking at signing onto permanent changes.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Another carpenters union leader bites the dust as Michael Murphy's booted from his post

BY Brian Kates

For the fifth time this year, the head of the city's biggest carpenters union local has been booted amid corruption allegations, the Daily News has learned.

Michael Murphy, president of crime-racked Local 608, was suspended without pay less than two months after taking office in September.

He was bounced days before former District Council of Carpenters chief Michael Forde, a one-time Local 608 boss, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for racketeering.

Four of Murphy's predecessors were axed this year for financial skulduggery, rigging job referrals and other infractions, officials said.

Ex-Boss Peter Thomassen Resigns From Membership

Big Spending "Sneaky Pete" Resigns To Avoid Fines and Charges
BREAKING NEWS, STORY STILL DEVELOPING...Pete Thomassen, (aka, "Sneaky Pete") the much criticized ex-head of the scandal-scarred carpenters union has resigned his membership from the carpenters union this week.

Informed sources say Thomassen resigned from union membership "to escape any post-resignation internal union fines or discipline."

Thomassen, the ex-assistant supervisor, ex-president of the District Council and last man standing in Mike Forde's disgraced “Unity Team," suddenly resigned from council employment in May.

Court papers filed on November 3, say, "Thomassen defrauded the union and it's benefit plan out of millions of dollars by avoidance of payment to the union's benefit fund, which included, among other fund's, the Officers Pension Plan."

Forde, the drinking-and-drugging ex-boss of the carpenters union was sentenced Friday in Manhattan federal court to 11 years in prison for his participation in a racketeering scheme that defrauded the union and its benefit funds out of millions of dollars.

News from The Office of the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters Inspector General Scott C. Danielson

Inspector General News Posting

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

D’Errico Uses Trickery To Stop Vote

By Publius

The new boss of the scandal-scarred carpenters union used trickery in an effort to prevent members from voting on a motion for a copy of the meeting minutes.

Lawernce D’Errico the new Director of Operation for the New York City District Council of Carpenters faces potential internal union charges for violating members' rights.

D’Errico who is also a trustee of the District Council benefit funds and President of Local 157, is a Michael Forde hold-over who was promoted to Director of Operations by UBC Supervisor Frank Spencer.

Spencer the eastern district vice president was brought in by the International Brotherhood to supervise the district council in the wake of Michael Forde's 2009 indictment.

Forde, the drinking-and-drugging ex-boss of the carpenters union was sentenced Friday in Manhattan federal court to 11 years in prison for his participation in a racketeering scheme that defrauded the union and its benefit funds out of millions of dollars.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Carpenters Union Exec Guilty Of Racketeering

Forde gets 11 years in prison
NEW YORK— The former executive secretary-treasurer of the District Council of New York City and Vicinity of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners was sentenced Monday in Manhattan federal court to 11 years in prison for his participation in a racketeering scheme that defrauded the union and its benefit funds out of millions of dollars.

Michael Forde who was also chairman of the District Council benefit funds, pleaded guilty to the racketeering charges on July 28, admitting that from 1994 through 2009, while he was an officer and, later, the head of the Carpenters Union in New York City, he engaged in a 15-year racketeering scheme in which he took bribes from multiple contractors, betrayed the union members he was supposed to protect, helped contractors cheat the District Council Benefit Funds out of millions of dollars, rigged job assignments, lied under oath, and obstructed investigations into his conduct.

The Carpenters Union is a national labor union that represents skilled workers at construction sites. In New York City, the approximately 20,000 members of the union are divided into eleven locals, overseen by the District Council.

From 1994 to 1997, Forde was a business agent for Local 608, the largest local in the District Council, with approximately 7,400 members. From 1997 to 2000, he was the president and business manager of Local 608. From 2000 to 2009, Forde was the executive secretary-treasurer (the highest position) of the District Council and a trustee and eventual chairman of the District Council’s benefit funds.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Local 157 Members Vote Yes To Microphone

President D'Errico voted no to a microphone
At the November 15th union meeting members sent a loud and clear message to the leadership and voted yes to a motion for a microphone to be put in place so members can hear each other clearly.

On October 15th and November 15th, the Local 157 executive board twice voted no to a written request for an open microphone.

Despite the boards two previous decision denying the request, the membership decided they had enough with the boards silly decisions and overwhelming voted to support the motion for a microphone.

“The executive board is out of touch with the members and its rather pathetic they denied a request for a microphone,” said a carpenter who attended the meeting.

Since 1999 the local always had a microphone for its members to use. It was taken away by president elect Lawrence D’Errico in a special September 2008 election, following an emergency supervision ordered by General President, Douglas McCarron over the Local.

Carpenters union boss Michael Forde sentenced to 11 years in prison

Irish construction boss sealed his fate

Ex-carpenters union chief Michael Forde faces 11 years in prison for corruption charges

Ex-Carpenters union boss Michael Forde was sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to corruption.

The main witness against Forde and other union leaders was a former Irish construction company owner James Murray who admitted he had bribed Forde with $100,000 dollars to look the other way on union jobs.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ex-carpenters union boss Michael Forde sentenced to 11 years after pleading guilty to corruption

By Brian Kates and Greg B. Smith

Michael Forde arrives at court Friday before his sentencing.
The "downright wicked" labor boss Michael Forde was sentenced to 11 years in prison Friday for selling out the rank-and-file of the city's biggest construction union.

Forde apologized as Manhattan Federal Judge Victor Marrero handed him a sentence just three months short of the maximum that prosecutors wanted.

"I take full responsibility for my actions. I betrayed trust. I am deeply ashamed for my behavior. I have no excuse," said Forde, once head of the 20,000-member District Council of Carpenters and Joiners.

Dozens of union members who packed the room listened raptly as Marrero called Forde a "downright wicked" man who "operated on the frontiers of depravity."



Coke head, former union big Michael Forde gave his drug dealer union job, lavish trips and meals

BY Brian Kates

Ex-carpenters union chief Michael Forde faces 11 years in prison for corruption charges.

The coke-snorting ex-boss of the carpenter's union put his personal drug dealer on the union payroll and treated him to lavish dinners and junkets, prosecutors have revealed.

Michael Forde faces up to 11years in prison when he's sentenced today for selling out the powerful union's rank and file for his own enrichment.

Court papers filed yesterday detail the labor leader's well-known lust for the high life: fancy dinners, expensive hotels and trips to resort towns.

They also contain the bombshell allegation that Forde put his "personal cocaine supplier" on the payroll as assistant director of the union's training school.

The man, identified as Joseph Wing, accompanied Forde on "many trips and expensive dinners," Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Zornberg wrote in the pre-sentencing memo.

Statement by Supervisor Frank Spencer on Sentencing of Michael J. Forde

Frank Spencer Statement

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Governments Memorandum For Sentencing Forde

Former Carpenter Boss Forde leaves court after making guilty plea.
Michael Forde will be sentence on Friday, November 19, 2010, by Judge Victor Marrero.

Below is the governments sentencing memorandum to the court detailing Fordes corruption and urging the court to impose a sentence at the top of the guideline range.

On Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 12:00 p.m Michael Forde, the former Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New York City District Council of Carpenters and Chairman of the District Council benefit funds, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to participating in a 15-year racketeering scheme.
2010-11-16 Forde Govt's Sentencing Memo

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Carpenters Recruit Apprentices

New York, NY (November 10, 2010) - The New York City District Council of Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Committee will conduct a recruitment from November 15, 2010 through November 30, 2010 for 20 openings for each of these trades: linoleum, resilient, tile and carpet layer; carpenter (pile driver/dockbuilder); cabinetmaker; and millwright apprentices, State Labor Commissioner Colleen C. Gardner announced today.

To obtain an application, individuals must complete an apprenticeship application lottery card with their name and address. Apprenticeship application lottery cards will be available Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the New York City District Council of Carpenters JATC - Labor Technical College at 395 Hudson Street, New York, NY, excluding legal holidays, during the recruitment period.

Two hundred (200) application cards will be available for each of the four trades listed above.

Applicants will be notified by mail if their apprenticeship application lottery card is selected. These individuals will be required to attend a one-hour orientation where they will be provided with an apprenticeship application form and be scheduled for an interview.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cavelli, Rugolo, Kennedy v. NYC District Council of Carpenters, et, al.

The following amended complaint was file on November 3,

Terrence Sampson v. NYC District Council of Carpenters, Michael Forde, John Holt, Local 608

The following complaint was file on October, 26 and the case was assigned to Judge Richard M. Berman, on November 8, 2010.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ABEL intermedia/barbara barna casting


Do you think your business could be a reality show?
Do people constantly remark, YOU should be on TV!

We want to hear from you.

Lion TV (Cash Cab, History Detectives) and a top ten US cable network are looking for a fun, out-going, opinionated multi-generational pair to HOST a new “old school vs new school” themed competition reality series.

Think father/son, uncle/nephew or boss/employee.

Are you naturally competitive and think the old or new schoolers are too smart for their own good?
Prior on-camera experience not required – carpentry, building, engineering, mechanical, problem-solving skills a plus. This show involves a lot of good old American ingenuity.

Please email ASAP to barbarabarnacasting@gmail.com and be sure to include the following:

    •    full name of you and your old/new school partner

    •    contact information

    •    RECENT photo of you and your old/new school partner

    •    Name & description of your business – have fun! be descriptive!

    •    Why should we choose you?

Irish builder tells of NY construction’s mob ties

The Irish Emigrant

Giving evidence in the trial of Joseph “Rudy” Olivieri, Irish builder James Murray has told how the mafia remains firmly rooted within New York’s construction industry.

A Manhattan federal jury Wednesday found Olivieri (56), ex-executive director of the Long Island-based Association of Wall, Ceiling & Carpentry Industries guilty of perjury over a sworn deposition he gave three years ago in a civil RICO case.

Olivieri faces up to five years in prison plus prosecution on four related charges including conspiracy and fraud. He had long been suspected by investigators as the primary link between construction unions and the Genovese crime family.

As part of the racketeering probe, nine other defendants including former Carpenters & Joiners District boss Michael Forde and former head of the Local 608 union John Greaney have already pleaded guilty and been convicted.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Queens Business Representative Center Opens

From NYCDC Website

Building on the success of our Manhattan Business Representative Center, we have opened a satellite Business Representative Center in Queens.  Manager Paul Tyznar and District Council representatives from Local Unions 20, 45, 926 and 2090 will now work united from this Queens office to maximize our market share in the outer boroughs.  This unit will work in tandem with the Manhattan Business Representative Center as District Council representatives will represent all members of this Union by working in a rotation between the two centers.  We look forward to seeing continued success from our Business Representative Centers.

You can contact the Queens Business Representative at:

Queens Business Representative Center
              214-38 Hillside Avenue
              Queens Village, NY  11427
Hours of Operation are 6am- 3pm
718.468.4056 (phone)
718.468.4295 (fax)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Page Six

WORD is...Dennis Sheil, the former "Unity Team" partner has quit the UBC. Sources say the former vice president of the New York City District Council of Carpenters and Local 1536 member is attempting to avoid being charged internally by our new Inspector General, Scott Danielson. Danielson has now brought internal union disciplinary charges against ALL defendants in the August 2009 indictment. Sheil's lawyer has advised him if you do not belong to the union you cannot be charged by the union.

Page Six reported on November 20, 2009 that the federal government wanted to ask the former veep a few questions, Sheil however was not in the talking mood, he advised his lawyers that he would have to plead the fifth if questioned. Sheil retired on December 31 2009.

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.

Danielson, Murry and Greaney Testify In Olivieri Trial

Scott Danielson, the newly appointed Inspector General for the District Council, James Murry the corrupt owner of On Par Contracting who fled to Ireland and later plead guilty to fraud, was persuaded to return when the feds seized his properties, and John Greaney, the corrupt former president and business manager of Local 608 and Forde's No. 2 man who pleaded guilty to all 13 counts were called to testify last week during the perjury trial of Joseph Olivieri, the former head of the Wall-Ceiling Association.

Danielson, Murry and Greaney, among other things testified about how the out-of-work list operates, how shop stewards are dispatched from the council and how Greaney and 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, helped Murry get corrupt shop stewards.

Below is a partial transcript of Danielson, Murry and Greaney being questioned by prosecutors.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mafia ties revealed to New York Irish construction firm

Irish informer spills the beans on mob ties 

By MOLLY MULDOON, IrishCentral.com

Times Square Tower
An Irish contractor  delivered a detailed account of the Mafia's involvement in New York's construction industry in a Manhattan courtroom last month.

James Murray, the immigrant builder, told the court how he climbed the ranks to success with help from the mob before crashing and losing everything. Murray addressed the court in a low voice as federal prosecutor Lisa Zornberg questioned him according to the Village Voice.

Murray  had immigrated from Ireland in the prime of his youth twenty years ago.

"I was looking for work. I had an argument with my father, and I came to the States."

He dropped out of school at 13 the reason being, he told the court he had a difficulty reading. When he got to New York he started work as a carpenter before he started up his own business renovating homes. A fellow Irish man then helped him develop his modest business into a bigger operation.

To get the bigger jobs he signed up with the New York City District Council of Carpenters, pledging to build his projects with the union labor: "You can't work unless you're union," he reminded the court.

Things were going well for Murray, who called his company “On Par Contracting” and soon had 700 workers on the pay roll courtesy of the union and some shady background figures .  Their extensive list of projects included the Times Square Tower, high-rises, hospitals and university projects.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Message From Michael Forde

This is taken from The Carpenter, fall 2008

Change is on the way from the NLRB

From Lexology 

The Obama-appointed NLRB has now issued its first significant batch of decisions1 serving notice, as is typical in the transition from one administration to the next, of a shift in the interpretation of the labor laws. The decisions include a new standard regarding secondary boycotts and union bannering; potential reconsideration of prior precedent; and a differing application of the law to facts than the predecessor NLRB. As a consequence of these decisions (and those anticipated in the future), employers should prepare to adapt to changes in the labor law environment.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nailing the Mob's Builders

A contractor tells a billion-dollar industry's dirty secrets

 By Tom Robbins

The story of just how deeply embedded the Mafia remains in the city's construction industry spilled out last week in a Manhattan courtroom.

The most detailed account was delivered by an immigrant builder who, with mob backing, enjoyed a soaring success before crashing to earth.

James Murray, 45, spoke in a low voice, his black-haired head hanging down. "Move closer to the microphone, please," repeatedly urged Lisa Zornberg, the federal prosecutor pulling the tale out of him.

His tale went like this: Jim Murray came here 20 years ago from Ireland. "I was looking for work. I had an argument with my father, and I came to the States."

He had dropped out of school at the age of 13. He confessed to "a little difficulty reading." If so, it didn't prove much of a handicap.

He started as a carpenter, banging nails on any jobs he could get. Next came his own business renovating homes. A fellow countryman wise in the ways of New York's construction trades helped him start a bigger firm, pointing Murray in the right direction. Part of the advice was to become a union contractor. He signed up with the New York City District Council of Carpenters, pledging to build his projects with union labor. This was "to get the bigger jobs," he said. "You can't work unless you're union."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Joseph Oliveri Trial Transcript

JOSEPH OLIVIERI the former executive director of the Association of Wall, Ceiling, and Carpentry Industries of New York and a former trustee of the benefit funds for the New York City District Council of Carpenters was found guilty of perjury, after a one-week jury trial on Oct. 26.

According to the evidence presented at trial, OLIVIERI lied under oath about his ties to the Genovese Organized Crime Family, as well as his ties to a union contractor that was defrauding the Carpenters Union benefit funds while OLIVIERI was a trustee.

OLIVIERI was found guilty of one count of perjury, for testimony he gave during a deposition taken in a Civil RICO case brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York against the Carpenters Union. He is the 10th defendant found guilty in this case, and is the only one who went to trial.

After 20 years, federal prosecutors convince the judge -- Drastic new move vs. NYC Carpenters corruption

by mnadmin

In June, upon application of Federal prosecutors, Judge Charles Haight appointed a new Review Officer to monitor the New York City Carpenters District Council and invested him with sweeping powers in the hope of ridding the union of corruption and restoring democracy.

Review Officer Dennis Walsh, now with full authority to reform the operations of the union and its benefit funds, has the right to investigate and issue subpoenas, to review all financial transactions, to supervise union elections, to oversee the job referral rules, to develop educational and training programs, to assess the structure of the council and its affiliated locals. Summarizing those far-reaching, open-ended powers and responsibilities, the judge's order authorizes the review officer to "make recommendations concerning any other factors ... that will effectively prevent ... wrongdoing and corruption..."

Forde To Be Sentenced On November 19

Former Carpenter Boss Forde leaves court after making guilty plea.
Carpenters who wish to share their thoughts about the sentencing of Michael Forde on November 19, 2010, may write to Judge Victor Marrero at the following address:

Hon. Victor Marrero
United States District Court Judge
500 Pearl Street
New York, NY 10007-1312

On Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 12:00 p.m Michael Forde, the former Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New York City District Council of Carpenters and Chairman of the District Council benefit funds, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to participating in a 15-year racketeering scheme.

Between 1994 and their arrest in August 2009, FORDE and his co-conspirators engaged in a racketeering conspiracy to enrich themselves and others and maintain control of the Carpenters Union through, among other things, the unlawful solicitation and obtaining of cash payments and other things of value from owners of construction contractors who had signed collective bargaining agreements with the Union.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Reconsideration of Meeting Minutes and Open Microphone

The following letter was faxed to Local 157.

Reconsideration Minutes.odt - NeoOffice Writer

Labor Unions Fear Rollback of Rights if G.O.P. Wins

Organized labor is deeply worried about what happens after Tuesday.

By many measures, labor unions have been the Republicans’ fiercest, biggest-spending opponents in this year’s campaign, laying out more than $200 million in hopes of safeguarding the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.

So it should be no surprise that Republicans, who appear to stand a good chance of winning control of the House or the Senate, are signaling that they plan to push bills and strategies to undermine labor’s political clout and its ability to grow.

“Republicans are likely to pursue a version of what Samuel Gompers often said: ‘Reward your friends and punish your enemies,’ ” said Joseph McCartin, a labor historian at Georgetown University.