Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Business Center Off To A Rocky Start

click to enlarge

Officially open for business, the newly established "Manhattan Business Representative Center" has been rocked by corruption and seen it’s manpower reduced by over 45 percent in the aftermath of guilty pleas by John Greaney and Michael Forde.

In March, Council supervisor Frank Spencer set up the "Center" as a way to “better represent the membership" and "improve the way we do business” in the future.

He appointed Lawrence D’Errico and Martin Deveraux, “Regional Managers,” tasked with “distributing assignments to representatives, and making sure that all job visits and related information are documented and put into a comprehensive database.”

He relocated five representatives from Local 157 and seven representatives from Local 608, in order to “unify the Councils organization’s efforts and ensure that records are kept accurately and adequately.”

The "Center's" new representatives started to run a foul on Friday, July 16, when John Greaney, the former president and business manager of Local 608, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to all 13 counts against him.

Immediately upon learning of the plea by Greaney, we reported that Regional Manager, Martin Devereaux, and representatives Maurice McGrath and Tom Costello arranged to meet at the Bronx office of Local 608, allegedly, to destroy union documents, or other things of importance that were locked in a file cabinet.

Review Officer, Dennis Walsh was called and arrived at the Bronx office before the three men left. When asked by Walsh why they wanted access to the locked file cabinet, all three men gave conflicting answers, a source said.

Twelve days later on Wednesday, July 28, Michael Forde, the, the former Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New York City District Council of Carpenters, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to participating in a 15-year racketeering scheme.
In the aftermath of Fordes guilty plea... Director of Operations, Maurice Leary, suddenly retired, representatives Maurice McGraft and Tom Costello also suddenly retired, representatives Ed Maudsley resigned, representatives Ron Rawald and Danny Demorato were suspended without pay, and regional manager, Martin Devereaux was fired.

Devereaux, who ran Local 608 after Greaney was arrested, is in the sights of Review Office Walsh, sources said.

In 2004, Devereaux and Forde were convicted in a bribery case involving a man linked to New Jersey's DeCavalcante crime family. The conviction was overturned and they beat the rap in a 2008 retrial.

Pictured Lawrence D'Errico (l) and Paul Capurso (r)
Union officials said, Devereaux was fired for misusing union money and refusing to cooperate with Walsh.

Walsh is "conducting multiple investigations of corrupt activity ... which will bear fruit shortly."

In the shake-up that followed, Frank Spencer appointed "Regional Manager," Lawrence D'Errico, new "Acting Director of Operations," to replace Maurice Leary, and representative Paul Capurso, to new Regional Manager.

D'Errico's appointment is under "review" by Walsh, sources said.

Paul Capurso was appointed council representative by Mike Forde, in June 2008. Capurso, is the least experienced of the remaining representatives and now the only "Regional Manager."

Carpenters familiar with the "Center's" representatives were shocked to learn Capurso is now the lead Regional Manager.

"This whole thing stinks, it seems every day there is another layer of the corruption found. Why not just fire them all, and start over. Making a junior representative, regional manager is laughable, is this the brighter future their telling us about." 

Inquiries to the Center regarding the appointment of Capurso were met with "no comment."


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