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April 30, 2004

Teamsters Corrupt?

The former federal prosecutor who heads the Teamsters' internal anticorruption program resigned yesterday, along with 20 other investigators and lawyers involved in that effort, saying the union's president was not fully committed to fighting corruption.

The former prosecutor, Edwin H. Stier, sent a sharply worded letter that accused James P. Hoffa, the Teamsters president, of blocking a broad investigation into possible union corruption in Chicago and of dragging his feet in a case of alleged embezzlement by a Teamsters leader in Houston.

"In spite of our efforts to convince General President Jim Hoffa to remain committed to fighting corruption," Mr. Stier wrote, "I have concluded that he has backed away from the Teamsters' anticorruption plan in the face of pressure from self-interested individuals."

The anticorruption program was created five years ago by Mr. Hoffa in an effort to persuade the federal government to abandon its longtime oversight of the union. The Teamsters had agreed to far-reaching federal supervision in 1989 to settle a federal racketeering lawsuit charging the union with being controlled by organized crime. The resignations could jeopardize the union's push to end federal oversight.

In addition to the investigators and lawyers, a 10-member advisory panel also resigned. That panel included many former top federal officials and investigators who had spent years fighting organized crime.

The entire article from the NY Times is pretty amusing.

Hmmm . . . I had thought that most everyone was basically in agreement that organized labor exists, in this day and age at least, fundamentally for corrupt purposes. Perhaps I'm just out of touch.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 08:00 AM | Permalink


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