The Truth be Told|
The Carey\Hogan Election
IPSN Fall/Winter, 1996/97
The unsuccessful campaign of self-serving inspiration to unseat Ron Carey, the reform-minded International President of the Teamsters Union, by James Hoffa, Jr., son of the famed but as yet unfound Jimmy Hoffa, Sr., is at an end now. But the problems continue for Local 714 of the Machinery, Scrap Iron, Metal and Steel, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, Handlers, Helpers, Alloy Fabricators, Theatrical, Exposition, Convention and Trade Show Employees of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which was ordered to be placed in a trusteeship by the federally appointed Independent Review Board.
The trusteeship came after an eight-month audit revealed a long-standing and widespread pattern of nepotism, and a maze of interlocking family-owned companies that profit through their dealings with the Berwyn-based local and wheeling and dealing with mob figures over the years.
Teamsters Local 714, investigators charge, exists for the sole purpose of lining the family coffers and enhancing the personal and financial well-being of William Hogan, Jr. who was placed into his position by his father who founded the Local in 1934.
There has not been a clearly contested election within Teamster Local 714 since at least 1961 and if there were, it would take courageous people to do it. The three Hogans who currently run the affairs of the Teamsters Local were appointed in 1990 after the family patriarch, William Hogan, Sr., stepped down after more than 50 years.
The Hogans and the Hogans only, call the shots in a Local that gives unionism a bad name. Family members take turns occupying the various leadership slots, and on those rare occasions when a nomination meeting is called, as the Independent Review Board report cites, it is scheduled for Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. in the hall packed with a small, but snarling band of Billy Hogan's loyal sympathizers who owe their livelihood within the trade show/movie division to the Hogan family. Democracy within Teamster Local 714 is a standing joke.
William Hogan, Jr., was the obvious front guy to run for International Secretary-Treasurer on the Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. ticket until the devastating and embarrassing revelations forced him to be removed from the Hoffa takeover bid. Hogan provided the money and muscle power behind the Hoffa Junior ticket to have the old guard once again take over one of the nation's most powerful labor unions. Hoffa Junior, who is an attorney living on the infamous name of his vanished and presumed murdered father, and the Teamster old guard was bent on dismantling the democratic reforms initiated by incumbent President Ron Carey within the Teamsters Union. Hoffa took his chances on timing when he selected Hogan to be his running mate, but it was political payback time and to Junior's way of thinking, the Hogan name equated into votes and the independent Review Board might not act before the historic union election.
But with the Hoffa Junior movement derailed, Hogan finds himself in the throes of an even more serious dilemma - potential criminal indictments stemming from whatever activities that he himself believes will surface as a result of the publication of this 122-page Trusteeship Recommendation handed down by the Independent Review Board and strong rumors of on-going federal government investigations.
The Independent Review Board was created under a 1989 consent decree stemming from a U. S. Department of Justice federal racketeering suit leveled at the entire International Brotherhood of Teamsters union - specifically the hierarchy and organized crime ties. Members of this distinguished panel include such notable men of integrity as former F.B.I. Director William Webster who also headed the C.I.A. at one time; Grant Crandall, a nationally recognized labor attorney, John Cronin, an auditor and evaluator formerly with the General Accounting Office in Washington, and ex-U.S. District Federal Judge Frederick Lacey of New Jersey.
Steeped in nepotism and charged with long-standing patterns of corruption and ties to organized crime figures both alive and dead (even murdered and in prison), Teamsters Local 714 headed by the Hogan family was the 65th seized and put into trusteeship by the Independent Review Board instructing the Carey team to reform the union.
When the Independent Review Board recommended to the International that they should; Seize Local 714, John Metz of St. Louis, Missouri, was sent in to oversee the affairs of Berwyn-based offices. Metz is the Teamsters national public service director. Hogan resorted to the usual Teamster muscle tactics of intimidation by padlocking the doors to the Berwyn offices and bringing about chaos organized. Hogan loyalists armed with bullhorns, and shouting a steam of profanities and threats stood outside headquarters attempting to undermine and totally disrupt the work of the people taking over as trustees under law. A vehicle driven by a security officer assigned to protect the investigators was kicked and pounded by burly fellows orchestrated by the pint-sized Billy Hogan, who on his own would heave a hard time scaring anybody.
The tactic bought Hogan previous little time and it forced the appointed trustees to secure a restraining order from U. S. District Judge Wayne Anderson. The judge ordered him to surrender all records and desist from the destruction of any sensitive information regarding the infamous Local.
By this time however, Shred-it Inc. a private firm, hired by the fast-moving glib-tongued Hogans while still in control of the Machinery, Scrap Iron, Metal and Steel, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, Handlers, Helpers, Alloy Fabricators, Theatrical, Exposition, Convention and Trade Show Employees of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, had already destroyed 2,225 pounds of records. Hogan termed his dubious actions, while under the scrutiny of the Independent Review Board investigators, as a routine house cleaning. If one believes that they must have been born yesterday.
Hogan hired a skilled public relations firm and at a press conference staged outside the Kluczynski Federal Building, and surrounded by about 150 raucous well wishers supposedly from the 10,700 member Local most of whom would be beholden to him for their livelihoods, brushed off his troubles as run-of-the-mill Teamster politics in an election year for the top Teamster jobs. Nothing could have been further from the truth. If Hogan truly believed his own words, why would he have spent $269,000 in legal fees to halt the Independent Review Board's all encompassing investigation and subsequent takeover of his Local backed by a federal court?
In a curious aside that is really not so surprising when you strip away the layers of politics, influence peddling, and you take care of me, I take care of you scenarios, Hogan managed to corral Ron Ver Kuilen, managing director of the State of Illinois Firm Office to step to the podium to say a few kind words on his behalf at the press conference. Ver Kuilen praised Billy Hogan, Jr. for all that he has done, which begs the question ; what has he done? A Sun-Times editorial was highly critical of Ver Kuilen's action, but so goes the links to the kinks in Chicago and Illinois politics.
Ver Kuilen, an appointee of Governor Jim Edgar whose office is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, replaced Suzy Kellett when Kellett unexpectedly stepped down late last year. Both the out-going director and Ver Kuilen were Hogan boosters. They fear that the movie business will evaporate once he is gone - an absurd, far-fetched notion put forth by people who do not have all the facts nor are aware of just who they are really dealing with. In the strange, fragmented world of politics it is highly unlikely that Mr. Ver Kuilen would straddle up the podium to speak on Hogan's behalf unless given the need to do so by someone higher up the pecking order. The Chicago Sun-Times noted the obvious conflict of interest and ripped Ver Kuilen for his poorly thought-out move in its editorial.
Hogan has connections.....political clout in high places who have benefited from Teamster campaign donations and other favors bestowed to them over the years. They seem unconcerned about the stain of corruption and the odious air of organized crime that surrounds this Local 714 and Billy Hogan and that is troubling to all who want to see a clean, efficient well-run union for the working man.
Then Hogan launched a slick pubic relations campaign by retaining the politically astute campaign operatives of Serafin & Associates in order to apply a positive slant on his faltering campaign for national office with Hoffa, Jr. for national office in the Teamsters. This time at a cost of $4,437 drawn from membership union dues according to trustee Metz.
Thom Serafin, who heads the Chicago-based P.R. firm, is a political spin dentist who knows how to push the buttons on behalf of his clients wherever they may be and no matter who they are or what they stand for. He's okay at his job and his clients desire to bask in a warm and fuzzy media limelight and he helps put them there. Serafin searched for ways to elicit praise for Hogan from prominent public figures like former governor James R. Thompson, and as many "he's a great guy" endorsements as can be accumulated in a short time frame. The usual flattering notices turned up in Irv Kupcinet's Sun-Times column and other widely- circulated print media to try to overcome the deluge of negative but factual issues overwhelming Billy Hogan's nefarious activities.
Smoke and mirrors - the spin of P.R. to offset the debacle.
The real truth lies within the 122 - page federal court appointed Independent Review Board compilation detailing some of the more untoward activities of Hogan and his clan dating back more than 20 years.
The Illinois Police & Sheriff's News, which has drawn attention to the manner in which the Hogan Local has conducted its affairs over the years, received a copy of this document and excerpts from the report follow.
Nepotism in the Local
"I am living proof that nepotism works," jokes the well-heeled Billy, who, with his son, his brother, and a brother-in-law pulled in a combined $613,271 in salaries and compensation in 1994. The Independent Review Board was not amused and it is doubtful that most working men and women would be either.
The local is being run for the benefit of its principal officer William Hogan, Jr., President James M. Hogan, Recording Secretary Robert Hogan and their family and friends. Nepotism and favoritism are prominent factors influencing entry into and work assignments in the Local's trade show/movie division which refers members to the Local's best jobs. Local members in positions of authority in that division and their relatives own businesses which are dependent for profits on Local 714 employers. These business interests with employers weren't disclosed to members. Seventy-two percent of the members who have held positions of authority in the movie industry began working in the industry through ties to the Hogan family.
The trade show/movie division employs only 258 of Local 714's 10,700 members. However, they are among the highest paying and most desirable jobs within the Local. And as one might expect they are given out on a preferential basis to friends, family members, and close associates of the Hogans and the two chief union stewards the report goes on to say.
Billy Hogan defends his hiring practices, telling the Chicago Tribune that in his estimation 18 relatives is (not) all that horrendous.
And they work. That is the key. That is also nice to hear as it was not always the case in the corrupted union empire of Billy Hogan, Jr.
Organized Crime Presence In Local 714
Chicago Newspapers in the early 1970's reported that organized crime figures worked as Teamsters at McCormick Place. Newspaper articles reported that reputed organized crime figures Ernest Rocco Infelise and Mario Garelli were employed as Teamsters at McCormick Place after this negative publicity, then Local 714 Secretary-Treasurer William Hogan, Sr., removed the identified individuals, including Infelise and Garelli, from their positions. By the then principal officer's own sworn admission the officers' intent was to do this solely for the period necessary for press interest to vanish and then to return to the status quo. During a June 1977 deposition, William Hogan, Sr., explained that after the negative publicity about organized crime figures being employed at McCormick Place, he spoke to then trade show division chief steward David Kaye as follows:
So, Dave, I said, if this publicity is going to continue we can't keep these guys in McCormick Place. We have to put them somewhere else so the heat is off of them, off of us, and off of you.
Consistent with this, Hogan, Sr., described a conversation he and his son, William Hogan, Jr., the present principal officer, had with (now imprisoned hoodlum leader) Ernest Rocco Infelise in which he explained their plan to return Infelise to McCormick Place after the publicity ended.
He (Infelise) said well, we want to stay here (McCormick Place) and I said no, not as long as we are taking all this publicity. We will put you anyplace but this building and they (Infelise and Garelli) said we are not going to work anyplace but this building and I said no, not under our Local - now, if you go and the heat dies off we can bring you back, but we will find steady work for you in the manufacturing plant or any other exhibit hall, but not this one. They are zeroed in on and every time you guys work here we are going to take a blast. This promise was insufficient for Infelise.
Wise guy honcho Rocco Infelise's power with (and over) the Hogans always placed them in fear - and with good reason. Infelise is one bad dude - a top outfit guy with murder as a persuading factor.
Family-Run Businesses Profiting From Their Ties to Local 714
At least seven individuals in positions of authority in that (trade show/movie) division also have ownership interests in companies which do business with companies in the trade show and movie industries that employ Local 714 members. These interests were not disclosed to the members. As a result there appears to be serious conflicts of interest between the business interests of these individuals and their duties as stewards in the trade show industry or as transportation coordinators and movie captains in the movie industry.
The various Hogans co-mingle their private business entrepreneurship with union activity undermining the working guy. Seven companies including Show-Biz Chicago (Dawn Hogan, Michael Hogan Sr's wife is an officer of this company), H & M Rentals, Movies in Motion which leases transportation equipment to movie production companies which have collective bargaining agreements with Local 714, Art's RV & Septic, and ES Systems, are either owned outright by the family or there are Hogan s in management positions calling the shots..
It is interesting but not very surprising that when Movies in Motion started up, Robert Hogan and Dennis Collucci were listed as the owners of the firm. After Robert Hogan became a Teamster Local 714 business agent, he sold his share of the business to his brothers, James and William Hogan. Dennis Collucci then sold his shares of the firm to the three children of Teamster Local 714's President James M. Hogan.
At least two other private companies - Exhibition Maintenance, a cleaning firm at McCormick Place owned by Hogan's sister Winifred Torli and her husband Dale, and Empties, Inc., utilize non-union workers.
The seven firms form a monopoly that services the local movie industry and tradeshow business at the various convention centers around town have of course benefited lucratively from their connections to Teamster Local 714 down through the years.
The Movie Studio Scandal
In June 1995, a headline story in the Chicago Tribune drew attention to a $5.5 - million-dollar low interest loan from the City of Chicago to a private consortium of Hogan's relatives and friends to build a West Side movie studio on a blighted section of West Madison Street. The carefully arranged deal was canceled at the eleventh hour by city officials only because of the unfavorable publicity surrounding Salvatore Galioto, one of the principals in this limited partnership, who was linked (by association) to the mob.
According to Federal sources, Salvatore Galioto was observed meeting with Michael Marcello and Edward Tinari of Deerfield Beach, Florida, at 4242 N. Old River Road on November 18, 1993. The location has been identified as hangout for hoodlums and mobsters. Edward Tinari is alleged to be an associate of Sam Wings Carlisi, one of the interim bosses of the Chicago outfit until he was sent to prison for 12 years on assorted racketeering charges, March 8, 1996.
Salvatore is the son of William Galioto, a retired Chicago Police Officer who happens to be the brother-in-law of Jimmy the Man Marcello, a former chauffeur for Sam Wings Carlisi and one of the top bosses on the West and Southwest Sides. Galioto is described by Federal sources as an associate of such mob heavyweights as Nicholas Gio, Frank Schweihs, Louis Daddano, William Daddano, and other charted members within the Outfit.
William Galioto was indicted in DuPage County in 1993 for running a gambling operation but the indictment was dismissed a year later.
On his application for the low-interest loan to finance Studio Works, Galioto answered no when asked if he had been indicted or convicted of a felony in the last ten years.
The movie sound stage was never built and the empty West Side lot where the ground-breaking ceremonies for Studio Works took place in June 1995, has never been developed.
In addition to nepotism, favoritism and conflicted positions in the trade show/movie division, the Local appears to have allowed ineligible individuals to become members and entered into sham contracts. For example, Local 714 was unable to provide a signed collective bargaining agreement for S & J Scrap where two Local members, Brian and Sheldon Weinberg, were allegedly employed. The address given for Brian and Sheldon Weinberg's purported employer was a used car lot.
The investigation revealed that the fictitious S & J Scrap yard is really Wayne Motors, a used car lot incorporated in 1978 with Sheldon Weinberg listed as the president of the company. Brian Weinberg reported that he was an employee of S & J Scrap according to an I.B.T. Local 714 membership list dated January 5, 1996. Overnight letters commanding both Weinbergs to appear before the Independent Review Board for questioning on February 23, 1996 were accepted at their respective home addresses but neither man showed up for the scheduled hearing. The directive was issued a second time, but according to Local 714 President James M. Hogan, both men were issued withdrawal cards once he determined that S & J Scrap was a used car lot. Thus they avoided key testimony.
Local 714 Jobs For Felons
William Hogan, Jr., testified that in the past parole officers contacted Local 714 to place individuals to work at McCormick Place in order to assist such individuals to get out of prison. As is evident from decades of practice, good jobs for felons was a more important consideration for the Hogans' assignments in the trade show/movie divisions than allowing Local 714 members from other employers to have better opportunities....former chief steward (David) Kaye was permitted to remain the chief steward after his conviction for taking money from trade show contractors for work he did not perform. In addition.... transportation coordinator, George DiLeonardi became a members of the Local's trade show/movie division after being convicted of a felony.
Local 714 Intimidation of Independent Forklift Suppliers at McCormick Place On or about April 21, 1992, a forklift company MCM Partners filed a complaint and a motion for a preliminary injunction against (Nick) Boscarino.
(Editor's Note: an old family friend of the Hogans, Mr. Boscarino doubled as a Local 714 union steward while serving as the current present and co-owner of OG Services, a forklift and scooter rental company, OG Services, William Hogan, Jr., Michael Hardy and others alleging in essence that Boscarino conspired with Hogan and Hardy to maintain OG Services' position as the only supplier of forklifts at McCormick Place and prevented MCM from leasing forklifts to trade show contractors at McCormick Place. For example, the complaint alleged that Boscarino and William Hogan told employees of trade show contractor Andrews- Bartlett that unless that company stopped doing business with MCM, Boscarino and Bill Hogan would cause the Teamsters to take various job actions including, but not limited to wild car strikes.)
MCM Partners alleged in their lawsuit that one of their forklifts was rammed in the side and severely damaged by someone inside McCormick Place connected with the OG company.
The findings of the Independent Review Board affirm what this newspaper and CCPA Union President John J. Flood who has endeavored to keep Hogan out of the police labor movement for years, has said. It is conceded that either through ignorance or naiveté, members of the Teamsters Union continue to labor under the false assumption that the Hoffa name is a magical incantation that equates into solid gains for the rank- and-file when all it does is continue to besmirch the American labor movement.
The younger Hoffa, a lawyer by avocation, was just a front man who sought quite a big job and just might well be doing the bidding of a coalition of Teamster officials who want to remain in their silk suit jobs and long for the return to the old ways, when hoodlums were given free reign over the Locals and the Central States Pension Fund which they used as their own personal piggy bank until the F.B.I.'s Operations Pendorf and Strawmen brought about major indictments. These and subsequent convictions of major Mafioso in sweeping federal investigations sent Chicago mob figure Joey Lombardo, and then International Brotherhood of Teamsters National President Roy Williams and flipped federal witness among others, to prison.
Lombardo, known to veteran mob watchers as Lumpy, was released from federal custody in 1992, and is back in Chicago to direct the outfits operations and assume the mantle of leadership of the Outfit.
Supporters of the Junior Hoffa ticket caused considerable embarrassment with repeated disruptions at the Teamster National Convention in Philadelphia with jeers, cat-calls, and harangues even during an announced moment of silence for the dead. U. S. Senator Arlen Spector, a Pennsylvania Republican who is acknowledged to be pro-labor in his sympathies, was forced to delay his speech for 10 minutes due to the raucous hoodlum tactics of the Hoffa-Hogan delegates.
The Senator returned to the podium after the noisy din finally subsided and ripped into the Hoffa supporters whose actions have a familiar ring. It is an identical throwback to the days of outfit control.
"This demonstration does not bring credit to the Teamsters, doesn't bring credit to the American labor movement, or those who are backing Hoffa," Spector commented. That is what a Hoffa, Jr. administration tried to bring back to the table of organized labor. The timing of these on-going independent Review Board investigation was particularly unfortunate for Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. who replaced Hogan on the national ticket with Tom Keegel, the head Local 744 out of Minneapolis. Keegel is also the secretary-treasurer of the state's joint council. The Younger Hoffa tapped his greatest strength from the Midwest and Great Lakes region. He had counted on the voting strength of 110,000 Chicago Teamsters; many of them in locals with leadership beholding to the Hogans. Even with Hogan removal from the ticket, the Hoffa coalition was a formidable adversary in the path of reform and the riddance of organized crime and all the mayhem that goes with it.
However, Ron Carey survived the free-spending Hoffa, Jr., who welcomed the support, financial or otherwise from all quarters (i.e. pro bono legal work from a Farmington Hills, Michigan law firm that has litigated on behalf of corporate giants who collectively bargain with the Teamsters). After 100 years of scandal and disgrace, the largest union in the country can finally look to a brighter day free of the troubles that have plagues its existence from the beginning.
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