Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Law firm may have double-billed carpenters union

By BRUCE GOLDING

A law firm hired by the crooked ex-chief of the carpenters’ union may have double-billed for its services, according to a preliminary probe by the court-appointed monitor of the long-corrupt labor organization.

A report filed yesterday by review officer Dennis Walsh says the union paid the firm of O’Dwyer & Bernstein a retainer of up to $20,000 a month from at least January 2008 through the fall of last year, when former leader Michael Forde was sentenced to 11 years in the slammer.

But Walsh said it’s “unclear whether the retainer was used to offset fees accumulated by the District Council” of Carpenters, which Forde ran before his downfall for taking bribes to let contractors hire illegal aliens off the books.

According to Walsh’s Manhattan federal court filing, senior partner Brian O’Dwyer sent Forde a “bare bones engagement letter” dated Jan. 19, 2000, that said his firm would provide legal services at the rate of $250 an hour for lawyers and $100 an hour for paralegals.

A second letter, dated July 24, 2008, raised the “composite” rate for the lawyers to $300 an hour, “in addition to the regular retainer,” court papers say.

“No further detail is provided about this retainer, not the frequency, not the amount and not how it will be utilized,” Walsh wrote.

But Walsh said his staff found bills for a $20,000-a-month retainer between January 2008 and March of 2009 listed on “a separate invoice from the invoice with specific time entries for the work performed and the monthly total legal fees.”

“From March 2009 on, (O’Dwyer & Bernstein) invoiced the District Council for a $10,000 monthly retainer, also on a separate invoice from the general invoice,” he wrote.

Walsh noted that “the District Council is exploring why this retainer was initially paid and why it was reduced and I will further address this in my next report.”

O’Dwyer didn’t return a phone message and email seeking comment last night.

4 comments:

  1. DROP DEAD UNITY TEAM !

    ReplyDelete
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  3. NYCDCC VACATION FUND FY ending 6-30-07

    $28,444,985 Vacation Wages earned
    $ 93,556 Interest on Savings
    $ 208,239 Dividends on Securities
    $ 4,598 Arbitration Award
    ____________
    $ 306,393

    TOTAL
    $28,751,378 Total-Vacation Fund
    $26,268,712 Paid to Members
    __________
    $2,482,666 Retained DC Play $

    LINE 93A
    AMOUNTS PAID BY CONTRIBUTING EMPLOYERS AS CONSIDERATION FOR PROVIDING SERVICES IN FURTHERANCE OF THE PURPOSE CONSTITUTING THE BASIS FOR THE EXEMPTION OF THE ORGANIZATION

    You cannot make this up!

    $179,493 Salaries
    $ 49,518 Pension Plan
    $ 39,568 Other Employee Benefits
    $ 12,979 Payroll Taxes
    $ 205 Accounting Fees
    $114,624 LEGAL FEES
    $ 15,295 Supplies
    $ 4,625 Telephone
    $ 16,278 Postage & Shipping
    $ 78,084 Occupancy
    $ 8,409 Equip Rental
    $ 9,060 Printing & Publications
    $ 8,413 Depreciation
    $255,132 "Other"
    ________
    $791,673
    $1,601,768 other liabilities
    _________ VACATION WAGE FINES...
    $2,396,441 in VIOLATION OF SECT 7

    $2,482,666 ($89,225 MIA)...COKE $

    This is priceless...$114,624 to recover a $4,598 dollar Arbitration award...WOW, stellar job.

    SIGNED BY FORDE 4-10-08, MONEY TRANSFERRED OVER TO "WELFARE FUND" per Merger Agreement executed October 17, 2006....wait till ya see the additional amounts grabbed for the same Fiscal Year

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, they should keep track of all their expenses. Keeping money should be their first priority. I think the bribery was for the extra manpower. As we think of it, sometimes they badly need it to maintain a faster and efficient workforce.

    ReplyDelete

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