Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Union Sues Corrupt Officers & Cronies

Mike Forde
By ADAM KLASFELD

MANHATTAN (CN) - Executives and contractors of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners who were convicted of embezzling millions of dollars in a racketeering scheme face a civil complaint (below) from the pension funds they looted.

The Carpenters Union and its locals and District Council have been bound by a federal consent decree since 1994, due to its "history of union corruption and organized crime influence within the District Council," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in the August 2009 indictment.

From 1994 to 2004, former Carpenter's Union chief Michael Forde took cash bribes from contractors and let them to violate terms of their collective bargaining agreements with the District Council, according to the indictment.

Contractor-defendants in the civil lawsuit include Turbo Enterprises, K.A.F.C.I. and Pyramid Associates Construction, which is owned by defendant James Duffy.

Former union boss Forde admitted in July 2010 that he let contractors use undocumented workers and duck required payments to benefit funds. He also acknowledged that he lied about it in a deposition.

Forde was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Nov. 19, 2010.

Nine others pleaded guilty or were found convicted; all are named as defendants in the civil suit.

They are Joseph Olivieri, a former trustee of the District Council Benefit Funds; John Greaney, former president and business manager of Local 608; Brian Hayes, a former business agent of Local 608; contractor Finbar O'Neill; and union shop stewards Michael Brennan, Brian Carson, Joseph Ruocco, John Stamberger and Michael Vivenzio.

Greaney and Hayes allegedly conspired with defendant Pitcohn Construction Enterprises.

The union pension funds seek punitive damages for racketeering, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.

The plaintiffs are the New York City District Council of Carpenters Pension Fund; the New York City District Council of Carpenters Welfare Fund; the New York City District Council of Carpenters Annuity Fund; the New York City District Council of Carpenters Apprenticeship, Journeyman Retraining, Educational and Industry Fund; and their trustees Frank Spencer, Douglas J. McCarron, John Ballantyne, Paul Tyznar, Paul O'Brien, Kevin M. O'Callaghan, Catherine Condon, David Meberg, Bryan Winter and John DeLollis.

They are represented by Harlan J. Silverstein with Kauff McGuire & Margolis.

1-11-cv-05474_0001-00

8 comments:

  1. Eventually everybody must pay the piper.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There will now be apportioned suffering on people who never worked a day in the trade.( Not thatc there's anything wrong w/that in this case) WHERE'S THOMASSEN & SHIEL, DEVEREAUX, McGRATH, HANLEY, KENNEDY,ETC ETC........Why is it that, this part of your legacy has yet to be known???

    ReplyDelete
  3. excerpt - June 24, 2011 response to McGuire letter

    First, the rank & file note the instant matter concerning the August 5, 2009 FBI sting, arrests and subsequent indictment of the corrupt Union Officials & Contractors engaged in tripartite scheme to defraud both the “Union and the Benefit Funds”, thus making this case distinguishable.

    Second, the rank & file Union Carpenter further note said scheme could not have been pulled off without the illegal language inserted to all benefit Fund Contracts and the Collective Bargaining Agreement; the contract, without the direct participation of the fund attorneys authoring same.

    Third, we note that that the Benefit Funds theft and the Union theft of monies owed to members and their families – that the Supreme Court in Guidry “assumed, without deciding at: “15 We assume, without deciding, that the statutory provision for "other appropriate relief" may authorize, in some circumstances, the imposition of a constructive trust.”

    Accordingly, the rank & file Union Carpenter note that Attorney McGuire erred when taking the legally distinct entity position, as the two cases are legally and factually distinguishable.

    Moreover, given the fact that the Supreme Court, assumed, but did not decide the issue for “other appropriate relief” and the “imposition of a constructive trust” wherein certain circumstances warrant the imposition of a Constructive Trust to be placed upon the convicted retirees Pension & Annuity Benefits covered under ERISA – the rank & file Union Carpenter respectfully requests that the IRO and the USAO process new charges and causes of action against all convicted NYCDCC Officials, Shop Stewards and the Contractor, those so indicted, convicted and sentenced from the August 5, 2009 FBI case - under the door which was left wide open by the Supreme Court, as this case is one where the distinction applies.

    The Benefit Fund Attorneys should be directed to file for a Constructive Trust as indicated by the Supreme Court.

    ReplyDelete
  4. DROP DEAD UNITY TEAM !

    ReplyDelete
  5. The people whining that the members cannot make a difference are full of bull - who do you think forced the funds to file this suit?

    The Fund Attorneys had nothing until the rank & file handed this freebie to them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Really well done for the blog.these are so sweet and pretty!
    Local Contractors

    ReplyDelete
  7. They are Joseph Olivieri, a former trustee of the District Council Benefit Funds; John Greaney, former president and business manager of Local 608; Brian Hayes, a former business agent of Local 608; contractor Finbar O'Neill; and union shop stewards Michael Brennan, Brian Carson, Joseph Ruocco, John Stamberger and Michael Vivenzio.


    HOW COME MR. MICHAEL MITCHELL'S
    NAME ISN'T MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE??? BUT I SEE IT IN THE COURT DOCUMENTS. IS THIS BLOG TRYING TO PROTECT MICHAEL???

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nowadays, it's like the ratio of honest officials and corrupt officials is 40 - 60. The lowest is for the honest officials. With that being said, poverty and unemployment is inevitable.

    ReplyDelete

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.