John J. Flood   Bio & Jim McGough (Biography)
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The Laborers Network
 
OFFICE OF THE INDEPENDENT HEARING OFFICER
LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA

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IN RE TRUSTEESHIP PROCEEDING OF
LOCAL 1001 (Chicago, Illinois)  

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)   No. _____
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 COMPLAINT FOR TRUSTEESHIP

1.   Pursuant to Section 3 of the Laborers' International Union of North America's ("LIUNA") Ethics and Disciplinary Procedure and Article IX, Section 7 of the LIUNA Constitution, and, after reviewing evidence that the Inspector General has acquired during his investigation of Local 1001, the General Executive Board ("GEB") Attorney has determined that a trusteeship of Local 1001 is necessary to achieve the constitutionally enumerated purposes set forth below.

2.   In support of this determination, the GEB Attorney states as follows:

I.           General Allegations

3.   LIUNA Local 1001 is located in Chicago, Illinois and is a constituent local of the Chicago District Council.

4.   The current Executive Board of Local 1001 consists of Business Manager Nicholas Gironda, President Nathaniel Gibson, Secretary-Treasurer Sam DeChristopher, Recording Secretary Robert Chianelli, and Executive Board Members Floyd Grogan and Victor Ron. Michael Palermo retired and resigned as Vice President as of October 11, 2002. The Vice Presidency is currently vacant.

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II.     Corruption

    A. The Structure of Organized Crime

5.   La Cosa Nostra (the "LCN', also referred to as the "Mob" or the "Mafia", is a criminal organization operating in various cities throughout the United States. It is in the business of profiting from illegal activity. The LCN is divided into units, each of which is called a "family". The Chicago family of the LCN is commonly referred to as the "Chicago Outfit" or the "Outfit".

6.   The Chicago Outfit conducts illegal activities through entities known as "crews". Each crew is headed and supervised by a person generally referred to as a "crew boss" and consists of "made members." A "made member" is an individual who has been formally initiated into an organized crime family and shares in the profits of the criminal enterprise. Crews also consist of "associates", individuals who work on behalf of made members and/or who facilitate mob activities.

    a. The 26th Street Crew

7.   The 26th Street Crew (sometimes referred to as the "Southside" or "Chinatown"
crew) of the Chicago Outfit operates out of the 26' Street or Chinatown area of Chicago. Over the past three decades, the 26th Street Crew has been involved in gambling, chop shop operations, extortion, political corruption, union corruption and other forms of criminal activity.

8.   Frank "Skids" Caruso was the boss of the 26th Street Crew from sometime in the 1950's through the 1970's. Angelo "The Hook" LaPietra became the boss of the 26th Street Crew in or around the early 1980's until his conviction in the mid-1980's on charges of conspiracy to illegally control gambling operations in Las Vegas and Teamsters Pension Fund operations in Chicago. Joseph "Shorty" LaMantia was a member and a supervisor of the 26th Street Crew for a number of years prior to his conviction on charges of racketeering, conspiracy, gambling and extortion in or around 1996. Fred Roti was an Alderman with the 1st Ward in Chicago who was involved in


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political corruption for a number of years until his conviction on charges of racketeering, bribery and extortion in or around 1993. Following LaMantia, John "Apes" Monteleone was the boss of the 26th  Street Crew fox a number of years until his recent death. Other crews currently or formerly operating in the Chicago area include the Elmwood Park Crew, the Cicero or Rocco "Rocky" Infelise Crew, and the North Side or Rush Street Crew.

9.   Some other members or associates of the 26th Street Crew and/or the Chicago Outfit at various times over the past three decades are: Pat Marcy, James LaPietra, Richie "The Cat" Catazone, Donald "Captain D" DiFazio, James DiForti, John Matassa, Vincent Solano, Larry Pusiteri, Marco D'Amico, Robert "Bobby" Abbinante, Ken Eto, Frank Caruso, Joe Granata, James Peter "Duke" Basile, Leonard Patrick, James LaValley, William Jahoda, Richard Mara, Robert Cooley, Charles Francis ("Guy") Bills, "Dirge" Imperato and Michael Corbitt.

10.   Several current or former officers, executive board members, auditors, and business agents of Local 1001 are or were associates of the 26th Street Crew or other crews within the Chicago Outfit, including Ernest Kumerow, Bruno Caruso, Nicholas Gironda, Sam DeChristopher, Robert Chianelli, Nicholas Cataudella, Victor Roa, Michael Palermo, James Capasso, Jr., and Joseph Spingola.

    b. LCN Associates With Positions Within Local 1001

Ernest Kumerow

Positions Held in Local 1001

11.   Ernest Kumerow was appointed business manager of Local 1001 in 1982. In 1991, the positions of business manager and president were combined. Kumerow was the only individual nominated for that combined office. He held that combined office until 1994. He then resigned and was replaced by organized crime associate Bruno Caruso.


 
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Connection to Organized Crime

12.   Ernest Kumerow is the son-in-law of mob boss Anthony Accardo. Accardo used his influence to place Kumerow in LIUNA offices, including the business manager of Local 1001 and the business manager of the Chicago District Council. Aside from his family relationship with Accardo, Kumerow had connections with known mob figures Joseph Aiuppa and Vincent Solano. Kumerow has been identified as an organized crime associate by sources within the Chicago Outfit.

Bruno Caruso

Positions Held In Local 1001

13.   Bruno Caruso was first appointed to the Local 1001 Executive Board in January 1982- Since his appointment as an executive board member, he was appointed - not elected - on three separate occasions to offices in Local 1001: he was appointed as Secretary-Treasurer in 1983; he was appointed as Vice-President in 1984 when that position was combined with the position of Secretary-Treasurer; and he was appointed as Business Manager and President in September 1994 when Ernest Kumerow resigned from that combined position.1 He was removed from office as a result of a disciplinary hearing in 2001.

Connection to Organized Crime

14.   Bruno Caruso has admitted connections to the following bosses, members and/or associates of the Chicago Outfit, among others:

Angelo "The Hook" LaPietra, James LaPietra, John "Apes"  Monteleone, Larry Pusiteri, Richie "The Cat' Catazone, "Dirge" Imperato, Donald "Captain D" DiFazio, and Joseph "Shorty" LaMantia.

 
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1    Effective for the May 1991 election, the offices of President and Business Manager were combined. Ernest Kumerow was the only person nominated for this position.


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15.   Beginning in the late 1960's, Bruno Caruso attended illegal dice games in the 26th Street Area run by members and associates of the 26" Street Crew including Joseph "Shorty" LaMantia, Larry Pusiteri, Donald "Captain D" DiFazio and Richie "the Cat" Catazone.

16.   Bruno Caruso has been observed on a number of occasions with Pat Marcy, a 1st Ward fixer who received large sums of money from the Chicago Outfit. On approximately two occasions, Bruno Caruso was seen passing envelopes to Pat Marcy. On a number of occasions, Bruno Caruso has been observed meeting with former 26th Street bosses Angelo LaPietra, and John Monteleone.

17.   In or around March of 1994, Bruno Caruso was observed meeting with Joseph "Shorty" LaMantia, John "Apes" Monteleone, Frank Caruso and James DiForti in connection with DiForti's appointment to a position of responsibility in Local 5 to succeed an LCN associate who was removed from office in Local 5 as a result of his conviction.

18.   On June 16, 1997, Bruno Caruso was served with the Complaint for Trusteeship in
the Chicago District Council matter. Approximately one hour after receiving the Complaint, Bruno
Caruso traveled to the home of convicted felon and former 1st Ward Alderman, Fred Roti. A
number of individuals closely associated with the Chicago Outfit identify Bruno Caruso as an
associate or member of the 26th Street Crew.

19.   Following a full disciplinary hearing, in which Bruno Caruso was represented by counsel, Caruso was adjudged to be an organized crime associate. The Independent Hearing Officer found that "Bruno Caruso participated and directly benefited from an illicit scheme to keep organized crime individuals [in positions of] . . . union political power" and that "Caruso's participation in organized crime brought disrepute upon the union . . ." In the Matter of Bruno Caruso, et al., 2001 IH0 16, 91-92 (99-12D).


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Nicholas Gironda

Positions Held in Local 1001

20.   Gironda was appointed to the position of Sergeant-at-Arms in January 1984 to fill a vacancy created by the mid-term resignation of Sam Abbott. In August 1994, Gironda was appointed as an executive board member to fill the vacancy created by the mid-term resignation of William Pape. In September 1994, Gironda was appointed as Secretary-Treasurer when Bruno Caruso resigned that office to take the office of President and Business Manager. After Caruso was removed as a result of a disciplinary case, Nicholas Gironda was appointed Business Manager in October 2001 and he currently holds that position.

Connection to Organized Crime

21.   Gironda served as a "bag man," accepting cash payments for jobs on behalf of Frank "Tootsie Babe" Caruso and for Bruno Caruso. In 1991, Gironda was investigated as part of a City of Chicago "no-show" job investigation. As a result of the investigation, Gironda was suspended from his job with the City of Chicago and then demoted, but he was paid by Local 1001 (for a formerly non-paying position) to compensate him for his loss of salary. Gironda is a cousin of Frank, Bruno and Leo Caruso, all organized crime associates, and was placed in Local 1001 to continue organized crime influence over Local 1001. Gironda has been identified by sources within the Chicago Outfit as an associate of the 26th Street Crew.

Sam DeChristopher

Positions Held in Local 1001

22.   DeChristopher was appointed as an executive board member in April 1994 to fill a
vacancy created by the mid-term resignation of Sam Caiafa. In September 1994, DeChristopher was

 
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appointed Sergeant-at-Arms to fill the vacancy created by Gironda's appointment as Secretary-Treasurer. In August 2000, DeChristopher was appointed Recording-Secretary to fill a vacancy created by the mid-term resignation of Shirley Esposito. In October 2001, DeChristopher was appointed Secretary-Treasurer to fill the vacancy created when Gironda was appointed Business Manager. DeChristopher currently holds the office of Secretary-Treasurer.
Connection to Organized Crime

23.   DeChristopher has been identified by sources within the Chicago Outfit as an associate of the Elmwood Park Crew.

Robert Chianelli

Positions Held in Local 1001

24.   Chianelli was appointed as executive board member, in mid-term, in August 2000, to fill the vacancy created by Sam DeChristopher's appointment as Recording-Secretary. In October 2001, Chianelli was appointed Recording-Secretary to fill the vacancy created by DeChristopher's appointment as Secretary-Treasurer, and Chianelli continues to hold that office. Connection to Organized Crime
25.   Chianelli is or was involved with organized crime bookmaking activities and is associated with LCN bookmaker Bobby Garippo. Chianelli is known to have associated with LCN figures at Dappers Restaurant on Belmont and Cumberland Avenue in Chicago. Sources within the Chicago Outfit have identified Chianelli as an associate of the Elmwood Park Crew.

Nicholas Cataudella

Positions Held in Local 1001

26.   Cataudella was hired as a business agent in or about March 2002 and continues to hold that position.


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Connection to Organized Crime

27.   Cataudella is or was involved with organized crime burglary, drug dealing and bookmaking activities with Chicago Outfit figures Rocco Infelise, Michael Sarno, Sam Louis, Salvatore "Solly" Cataudella (his brother), and Bruce Wasz. Sources within the Chicago Outfit have identified Cataudella as an associate in the Chicago Outfit.

Victor Roa

Positions Held in Local 1001

28.   Roa was appointed as an executive board member in October 2001 to fill the vacancy created by the mid-term appointment of Robert Chianelli as Recording-Secretary and Roa continues to hold that position.

Connection to Organized Crime

29.   Roa has been involved in organized crime bookmaking activities with LCN associates Nicholas Cataudella, Salvatore Cataudella and Donald "Captain D" DiFazio. Sources within the Chicago Outfit identify Roa as an associate of the 26th Street Crew.

Michael Palermo

Positions Held in Local 1001

30.   Palermo was hired as a field representative in 1983. He was then appointed Vice-President in April 1989 to fill the vacancy created by Bruno Caruso's mid-term resignation from that office. (Caruso retained his position as Secretary-Treasurer.) Palermo resigned in 2002 and the office was left vacant by order of the Inspector General.


 
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Connection to Organized Crime

31.   Palermo has been identified by sources within the Chicago Outfit as an organized crime associate. Palermo is known to have met with John "Apes" Monteleone, and to have been a close associate of Frank, Bruno and Leo Caruso.

James Capasso. Jr.

Positions Held in Local 1001

32.   Capasso was appointed as a "trustee of the executive board of Local 1001" in June 1984, a position not established by the LIUNA Uniform Local Union Constitution. In October 1984, Capasso was appointed as an auditor to fill the vacancy created by the mid-term resignation of Anthony Orrico. Capasso remained an auditor of Local 1001 until he retired in 2002.

Connection to Organized Crime

33.   Capasso was involved in bookmaking activities for the Chicago Outfit with James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, a high-ranking LCN figure, who is currently in federal prison. Capasso has been identified by sources within the Chicago Outfit as an organized crime associate.

Joseph Spingola

Positions Held in Local 1001

34.   Spignola served as President and Business Manager of Local 1001 from at least 1970 until he resigned, in mid-term, in 1982.

Connection to Organized Crime

35.   Sometime in the 1960's Spingola met with Jackie Cerone, Sr., a high-ranking Outfit boss, and Frank Granata, Sr., a long-time Outfit associate, who informed Spingola that he was to be appointed as President and Business Manager of the Chicago District Council on the instructions of


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Outfit boss Anthony Accardo. Spingola has been identified by sources within the Chicago Outfit as an organized crime associate.

B.   LCN Influence over Local 1001

36.   Local 1001 has a long history of LCN influence over its affairs. LCN associates have served as officers, executive board members, auditors and business agents of Local 1001 from the 1970's to the present. The Local has not had a single contested election since at least 1972 and all changes in officers have taken place in mid-term appointments. As set forth above, many of these changes have involved the appointment of LCN associates, often to fill the vacancies created by the resignation of other LCN members or associates. As also set forth above, several changes in the non-officer executive board membership and auditor positions have also occurred between elections and have also involved LCN associates.

37.   Currently, four of the six executive board members of Local 1001 are LCN associates: Business Manager Gironda, Secretary-Treasurer DeChristopher, Recording-Secretary Chianelli and executive board member Roa. Furthermore, from a historical perspective, LCN influence over the Local 1001 executive board is clear:

  • Business Manager: LCN controlled from 1970 to Present

  • President. LCN controlled from 1970 to 2001.

  • Vice-President: LCN controlled from 1984 to 2002. Vacant since 2002.

  • Secretary-Treasurer. LCN controlled from 1983 to Present.

38.   During the period of LCN influence over Local 1001 officers, the Local has taken no effective steps to rid itself of organized crime influence and has, in fact, willfully ignored substantial evidence of the organized crime influence over the Local.


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III.   Lack of Democratic Practices

39.   As set forth in detail above, since at least 1972, there has not been a contested election for any office in Local 1001. In addition to this lack of contested elections, the Local has utilized mid-term resignations by officers and appointments by the executive board to change the membership of the executive board. A long-term pattern of uncontested elections along with midterm resignations and appointments demonstrates a failure of democratic practices at Local 1001.

IV.   Financial Malpractice

40.   Local 1001 maintained a long-time practice of making pension and health and welfare fund contributions on behalf of Local 1001 members who were not employees of Local 1001 when the contributions were made. Local 1001 made such improper contributions on behalf of thirty-three members. The most glaring example of this practice is James Capasso. Capasso was never an employee of Local 1001 yet Local 1001 made pension and health and welfare contributions for Capasso for eighteen years as if he were a full-time employee, from 1984 to his retirement in 2002. Capasso received over $100,000 in improper contributions. In the course of making the improper contributions for Capasso and others, Local 1001 filed false contribution reports on a monthly basis to the pension and health and welfare funds.

A. Improper Pension Contributions

41.   Local 1001 made improper pension contributions of $396,465.11 for thirty-three members. Of these thirty-three, thirteen are organized crime associates and five of those organized crime associates are current or former officers of Local 1001:


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Organized crime associates receiving improper pension contributions,
        (5 organized crime associates who are or were officers of Local 1001)


Bruno Caruso             $1,456.00
Nicholas Cataudella    $5,271.30
Robert Chianelli          $8,618.70
Sam DeChristopher   $20,708.70
Victor Roa                  $7,058.70
__________________________
            sub-total =     $43,112.40

 

(8 additional organized crime associates)
Joseph Briatta           $4,377.64
Sam Caifa               $17,218.00
James Capasso       $40,692.60
Ronald Crivellone    $15,661.00
Daniel DeLuca         $23,782.00
Alexander Maggi      $19,800.40
Bernard Spano         $27,378.90
Michael Spingola        $2.134.00
_____________________________
                sub-total= $151,044.54 
 
Total =                                   $194,156.94

B. Improper Health and Welfare Contributions

42.   Local 1001 made improper health and welfare contributions on behalf of the same thirty-three members in the amount of $434,157.78. Again, thirteen were LCN associates and five of these are or were officers of Local 1001.

Organized crime associates receiving improper health and welfare contributions.
       
(5 organized crime associates who are or were officers of Local 1001)

 


Bruno Caruso               $844.40
Nicholas Cataudella   $7,059.90
Robert Chianelli       $12,199.80
Sam DeChristopher  $35,206.20
Victor Roa                 $9.352.50
____________________________
              sub-total=   $64,662.80


 
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(8 additional organized crime associates)
Joseph Briatta                $2,822.40
Sam Caifa                    $24,816.80
James Capasso            $64,193.10
Ronald Crivellone         $10,903.60
Daniel DeLuca              $13,219.20
Alexander Maggi          $11,038.72
Bernard Spano             $47,749.20
Michael Spingola            $1,440.80
_____________________________
            sub-total =       $176,183.02
Total =                                           $240,846.62

 

43.   In total, Local 1001 made improper contributions of $830,622.89 to pension and health and welfare benefit plans. Over one-half of the total improper contributions went to organized crime associates.

44.   These pension and welfare contributions, and false monthly contribution reports, constitute acts of racketeering activity as defined by the LIUNA Ethics and Disciplinary Procedure and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. 1961(1.), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. 1001, et seq., the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act ("LMRDA"), 29 U.S.C.  501 (a) and (c) , and violate the LIUNA Ethical Practice Code.

CHARGE ONE
CORRECTING CORRUPTION OF LCN INFLUENCE

 

45.   It is necessary to place Local 1001 under trusteeship for the purpose of correcting corruption of influence of organized crime members and associates over the affairs of Local 1001.

46.   By placing Local 1001 under trusteeship, LIUNA will be able to remove the influence of organized crime over the Local and assure that the Local is administered in the best interest of its membership.


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CHARGE TWO
RESTORING DEMOCRATIC PRACTICES

47.   It is necessary to place Local 1001 under trusteeship for the purpose of restoring democratic practices. Given the long history of a lack of contested elections and a pattern of replacing executive board members in mid-term with LCN members or associates, imposition of a trusteeship over Local 1001 is necessary- to restore democratic practices to the Local.

48.   By placing Local 1001 under trusteeship, LIUNA will be able to foster open and democratic practices within Local 1001.


 
CHARGE THREE
CORRECTING FINANCIAL MISCONDUCT

49.   It is necessary to place Local 1001 under trusteeship to correct financial misconduct in the form of improper pension and health and welfare contributions made by Local 1001 on behalf of individuals who are ineligible to receive such contributions in violation of duties imposed by the LIUNA Ethical Practices Code, Financial Practices, and by 29 U.S.C. g 501 (a) and (c).

50.   By placing the Local under trusteeship, LIUNA will be able to monitor the financial condition of the Local and prevent improper contributions and any other financial misconduct.


CHARGE FOUR
CORRECTING CORRUPTION
(BARRED CONDUCT - EMBEZZLEMENT)

52.   It is necessary to place Local 1001 under trusteeship to correct corruption in the form of Local 1001 operating its affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity; to wit, embezzlement under 29 U.S.C. 5 501 (a) and (c), which is defined as "barred conduct" under the LIUNA Ethics and Disciplinary Procedure. A trusteeship is necessary to assure that Local I 001's affairs are conducted lawfully, for the benefit of its members, in accordance with the LIUNA Constitutions and not for an improper purpose.


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53.   A trusteeship is necessary to assure that the affairs of Local 1001 are conducted lawfully, for the benefit of its members and in accordance with the LIUNA Constitutions and not for an improper purpose.


CHARGE FIVE
CORRECTING CORRUPTION
(BARRED CONDUCT - MAIL FRAUD)

54.   It is necessary to place Local 1001 under trusteeship to correct corruption in the form of Local 1001 operating its affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, to wit, mail fraud in violation 18 U.S.C. 1341, which is defined as "barred conduct" under the LIUNA Ethics and Disciplinary Procedure. The improper pension and health and welfare contributions described above, which resulted in ineligible persons receiving benefits and/or receiving benefits based upon false or misleading statements of hours worked, constitute a scheme or artifice to deprive the funds of property.

55.   A trusteeship is necessary to assure that the affairs of Local 1001 are conducted lawfully, for the benefit of its members and in accordance with the LIUNA Constitutions and not for an improper purpose.


CHARGE SIX
CORRECTING CORRUPTION
(ERISA REPORTING VIOLATIONS)

56.   It is necessary to place Local 1001 under trusteeship to correct corruption in the form of Local 1001 committing violations of ERISA substantive criminal law by the filing of untruthful, inaccurate and incomplete contribution reports on a monthly basis for a period of up to eighteen years in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1027.


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CHARGE SEVEN
CARRYING OUT LEGITIMATE OBJECTIVES AND PROTECTING
LOCAL 1001 AS AN INSTITUTION

 

57.   The "objects" of Local Unions are set forth in Article 11, Section 1 of the Uniform Local Union Constitution ("ULUC") and include the responsibility "[t]o conduct its affairs in a manner which would most tend to enhance, conserve and protect the welfare and interest of the International Union, its affiliates and members." ULUC Article II,  9(e).

58.   In light of the evidence developed by the LIUNA Inspector General and the facts set forth in the above paragraphs, it is necessary to place Local 1001 under trusteeship to carry out the legitimate objects of the union and to protect Local 1001 as an institution. Given the influence of organized crime, lack of democratic practices and financial misconduct, which have impaired the Local's ability to accomplish the basic tasks required for the operation of the local and which threaten to unduly burden the time and resources of the General President, the Independent Hearing Officer and the Chicago District Council, Local 1001 is currently unable to carry out the legitimate objects of the union.

59.   By placing Local 1001 under trusteeship, LIUNA will be able to protect Local 1001 as an institution by conducting its affairs in a manner that would most tend to enhance, conserve and protect the welfare and interest of the International Union, its affiliates and members.


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CONCLUSION

60.   Wherefore, the GEB Attorney respectfully requests that, upon due notice and hearing, the Independent Hearing Officer impose a trusteeship on LIUNA Local 1001.
 
Dated: September  24, 2003

s/Robert Luskin
Robert D. Luskin
GEB Attorney


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