Sunday, March 20, 2011

Forde Holdover Carpenter Boss D'Errico Fired and 7 Others Netted in Walsh's Mob Corruption Probe

Forde Holdover D'Errico Fired.
Informed sources say Local 157 President/Director of Operations/Benefit Fund Trustee, and Forde holdover, Lawrence D’Errico, 47, has been fired by UBC Supervisor Frank Spencer, on Friday March 18th.

Spencer appointed Area Standards Director Eddie McWilliams, new "Acting Director of Operations," the source said.

On Wednesday March 16, we reported that Review Officer ("RO") Dennis Walsh, issued a veto letter to D’Errico on Monday March 14th, vetoing D'Errico's employment as a council representative, allegedly for organized crime associations.

D'Errico, was appointed "Acting Director of Operations" in July, and replaced Maurice Leary, who suddenly retired immediately after Michael Forde copped a plea to corruption charges, received a $45,000 salary increase in December from Supervisor Spencer, increasing his salary from $177,776 last year to over $223,000 this year, an informed source said.

The RO has been zealously conducting investigations into troubling allegations that after 587 days of supervision by the UBC International, because former council leader, Michael J. Forde, and nine others, were charged with racketeering, the New York City District Council of Carpenters remains influenced by the mob, deeply ingrained in the culture of corruption and is still a source of cash and illicit benefits for a select few.

In October, Spencer posted a video message on the councils website, saying "We had the issues with corruption, But that's yesterday."

On Friday, November 19, 2010, Michael Forde was sentenced to 11 years in prison. 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 netted guilty pleas from eight persons and the jury conviction of Genovese crime family-linked contractor Joseph Olivieri

In December the RO filed a report showing some progress in cleaning up the district council but presented a troubling picture of corruption, and some aspects of the report raise questions about the stewardship of supervisor Frank Spencer.

Many members, including myself have criticized Spencer and his handling of the supervision. The RO's report includes evidence and troubling allegations that some of the same kinds of misconduct that led to the 2009 charges have continued under Spencer’s supervision.

“My office has deep historical knowledge and is developing current information about actual and attempted influence of organized crime over the affairs of the district council and the funds,” the RO, wrote in the report. “We have developed sufficient information to reasonably suspect that there are certain district council employees who have been and are currently under the influence of La Cosa Nostra figures.”

On March 17th, I emailed Chief Compliance Officer ("CCO") John Ballantyne, inquiring on the status of D'Errico. Ballantyne responded, "at this time, Lawrence D’Errico has not resigned as the President of LU #157 and he is currently still an employee of the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

The morning of Friday March 18th, I emailed the CCO again stating, "given severity of the charge against D'Errico by the RO, wouldn't it be prudent to end his employment and have him leave office before Monday's Local 157 meeting.

Informed sources say, UBC officials convened on Friday afternoon and given the RO's written "NOTICE OF POSSIBLE ACTION," obligated them to act and they reached a strong consensus to end D'Errico's employment.

The RO said he has begun a new phase of investigation pertaining to organized crime influence over the affairs of the District Council, its affiliated local unions and members. As part of the investigation, employees of the District Council are asked to disclose any information that they have about such conduct other than what they may know from the information available from the docketed materials in U.S. v. District Council (90 Civ. 5722) or from media accounts.

Those who say that they have no such information are asked to confirm their response by signing a declaration under penalty of perjury pursuant to Paragraph 5.d of the Stipulation and Order entered on June 3, 2010.

All such persons are given a reasonable opportunity to consider their options and to consult with an attorney and may invoke their privilege against self-incrimination. All such persons are required to cooperate with the RO in this undertaking pursuant to Paragraph 7 of the Stipulation and Order. Failure to comply with the undertaking or invocation of the right against self-incrimination may subject persons to action pursuant to Paragraph 7, which makes failure to cooperate an express violation of the Stipulation and Order, as well as Paragraphs 5.b and 5.f.

Last week the RO's new phase of investigation netted seven other Carpenter leaders:

Local 157 Vice President/Representative Anthony Pugliese was pushed into retirement because he refused to cooperate and sign the declaration.

Local 157 Financial Secretary/Regional Manager Paul Capurso, did not signed the declaration and is consulting with an attorney, he is expected to be fired or resign.

Local 157 Organizer Andre Puerta, did not sign the declaration and resigned.

Local 157 Delegate/Representive Richard Tuccillo, did not sign the declaration and resigned.

Local 926 President/Representative Joseph DiNapoli, did not signed the declaration and is consulting with an attorney, he is expected to be fired or resign.

Local 926 Financial Secretary/Deputy Organizer Ray Brugueras, did not sign the declaration and resigned.

Local 45 Representative Paul Pietropaolo, did not sign the declaration and resigned.

The RO said his investigation "is broad in scope and many employees (as well as persons affiliated with the Benefit Funds) can expect to be interviewed in the near future."

1 comment:

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