Teamsters chief pleads guilty to conspiracy charges in deal with prosecutors

Discussion in 'The Archives' started by my2cents, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    Teamsters chief pleads guilty to conspiracy charges in deal with prosecutors
    By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press, 4/25/03

    BOSTON -- Local Teamsters head George Cashman pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy charges in a deal struck with prosecutors on the eve of his embezzlement trial.

    Cashman, president of Local 25, pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy in two separate schemes -- one in which he and others were accused of extorting $100,000 from a health care company and another in which timesheets were falsified to allow 19 truck drivers to illegally collect more than $72,000 in health care benefits.

    As part of the plea, Cashman admitted accepting $20,000 of the $100,000 extorted from Cardinal Health.

    William Carnes, the local's vice president, also pleaded guilty Friday to four counts of fraud in the timesheets case.

    Surrounded by about a dozen supporters from the Teamsters, Cashman, 54, spoke briefly with reporters after the hearing. He said he was grateful for his 36 years with the Teamsters and the opportunity improve the lives of many through better work benefits.

    "I believe that I've made a difference," he said.

    Because of their convictions, both Cashman and Carnes will lose their Teamsters jobs.

    U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock set a sentencing date of Aug. 7.

    Under federal sentencing guidelines, Cashman faces a possible prison term of between 30 and 37 months, while Carnes faces six to 12 months, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak. Under the plea agreement, prosecutors have agreed to ask for a sentence in the middle of the guideline range.

    One of the drivers who collected benefits was John "Mick" Murray, an admitted associate of fugitive gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

    Jury selection had been scheduled to begin Monday. Both men faced multiple charges of conspiracy, embezzlement and bribery.

    Cashman's defense was dealt a blow last week when one of his associates, Thomas DiSilva, cut a deal with prosecutors and agreed to testify against Cashman.

    DiSilva, a trucking company owner, pleaded guilty to two charges in the scheme to embezzle from the union's benefit plan by fabricating work hours. He also said that he and Cashman had extorted $100,000 from Cardinal Health and that Cashman kept some of the money. Both were indicted in that case last month.

    Cashman, a former truck driver with close ties to former Govs. William Weld and Paul Cellucci, has been the union head since 1992. He also held a seat on the Massachusetts Port Authority board until May, when he was pressured to resign after he was indicted.

    The indictment was brought by a Worcester grand jury probing allegations that members of Local 25 extorted Hollywood filmmakers, including producers of "The Perfect Storm" and "The Cider House Rules" during filming in New England.

    Film directors complained that the union -- which represents about 9,000 members in trucking, warehousing and other businesses in the Boston area -- forced them to hire unnecessary workers and rent equipment from its members.

    Local 25 handles all negotiations with studios and independent filmmakers who want to shoot movies in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The grand jury probe is continuing.
  2. over9five

    over9five Guest

    So, whos in charge now? Will there be a new election, or is there a "chain of command"? Who comes after Carnes?
  3. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    Mass. City Workers Revolt Against Local 25
    With its president, George Cashman, set to be tried for extortion on April 22, Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters Local 25 faces a revolt by Cambridge city workers seeking to form their own union. According to the dissidents, Local 25 has resorted to harassment and intimidation of those leading the effort.

    The Local has been under federal investigation for years for allegedly extorting filmmakers in Massachusetts. A number of former local officials have already been convicted of defrauding the union's pension fund, charges that Cashman also faces. Now, 220 of the 330 municipal employees of Cambridge have signed a petition asking for an election on forming a new union no longer under Local 25's control.

    The employees voted for Local 25 to represent them in 1999. But dissident leader Ron Baldasaro listed a number of local grievances against the Teamsters. Local 25 officials will not represent any employees fired by the city, resulting in newly hired workers who must then pay a $500 initiation fee. Cambridge workers also wonder why some of their dues are funneled to a "strike fund" when striking is illegal for public workers. The final straw for the employees came when Local 25 officials signed a contract with the city govt. after a negotiating committee of Cambridge workers voted to reject it.

    Since asking for the vote, several dissidents have reported being harassed by Local 25 militants. Late last year, a workers with a heart infection was encircled in his car and harassed by three goons. Shortly afterward, the employee spent nine days in the hospital. An attorney representing the dissidents was confronted by five business agents who tried to shout him down. And Baldasaro says that he has seen a large number of cars slowly circling the cul-de-sac of his home, then peeling off. "Do I feel it's intimidation? Yes," Baldasaro said. [Cambridge Chronicle 4/9/03]

    Excerpted from Union Corruption Update's April 14th Issue

    Judging from the above, I would think the IBT would impose a trusteeship on the Local. In regards to the chain of command, there should be something in the Local's by-laws, which outlines a proceedure for this. More than likely, the next senior officer will get bumped up to President or Secretary/Treasurer, whichever is ranked higher in the Local's by-laws.
  4. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    To add to further to this thread, Cashman is also Secretary/Treasurer of Teamsters Joint Council 10 New England and a trustee on the New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund. This information doesn't sit well with me either given the facts that JC 10 filed their LM2 report nearly a month late last year (received April 25 by the DOL) and I still have a copy of a video the Pension Fund sent out a few years ago with Cashman's reassuring narration promoting the virtues of the fund.
  5. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    Some extra information: Here's a look at the current Teamsters Local 25 hierarchy, according the Local's website. According to the latest available LM2 filing for Local 25, the next election is scheduled for December of this year. LM2s are also available for Joint Council 10, to those who are interested. It is also unclear at this point if the issues regarding the pension fund have been resolved. An extra tidbit, if one clicks on the title of the original post on this thread, there is a streaming newscast available, which is well worth taking the few minutes to view, IMO.
  6. over9five

    over9five Guest

    Newest info is that the secratary, Richard Reardon, will be the interim president. Mr Reardon is the BA for my building, and Ive always considered him a smart, honest man. Best of luck to him, but I dont envy him.
  7. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    Thanks for the update over9five. No doubt the International will be checking into Local 25 affairs over the coming months, even if a trusteeship is not imposed. I wouldn't be surprised if someone from the IBT is at the Local now.

    Despite the probable IBT presence, union members have access to a Boston area DOL field office, if necessary:

    Boston District Office
    U.S. Department of Labor, OLMS
    Mark Letizi, District Director
    JFK Federal Building
    Boston, MA 02203
    (617) 624-6690

    The above number should put one in contact with an information officer to address any concerns.

    Additionally, the The Association for Union Democracy is a good resource to keep in mind as well.
  8. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    Officials of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which has headquarters in Washington, D.C., said that Local 25 members will not be hurt by the leadership scandal.

    ''This is not an Enron or Worldcom,'' said Bret Caldwell, the union's spokesman. ''The workers are not affected by this. Their pensions are not in jeopardy. Their medical benefits are not in jeopardy. This is not a huge corporate scandal.

    ''It's an unfortunate situation,'' he said. ''But we're talking about two individuals. Now it's time for us to move on and continue representing our members.''

    The above is excerpted from a Boston Globe article titled Union Leader Admits Shaking Down Health Firm. Despite such reassurances, fed up union members also have the option of resigning their membership and asserting their Beck rights. In fact, this would be the best option for the dissident Mass City Workers. Once resigned, they are no longer bound by any Teamster Constitutions or by-laws and can lawfully proceed with their decertification campaign.

    In accordance with Article II, Section 2(i) of the IBT Constitution, member resignations should be sent in writing to the Local's Secretary/Treasurer. It would be best to send this letter certified mail, return receipt requested. No reason has to be given for the resignation, other than to state it, and it would be best to assert one's Beck rights in the letter. If this is a viable option for some and if problems are encountered with the assertion of these rights, one should contact National Right to Work for free legal aid.
  9. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    TEAMSTERS (IBT)Boston Teamster Boss, Accomplice Plead Guilty
    Thomas Disilva pled guilty on April 18 to helping Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters Local 25 president George Cashman defraud the union's benefit plan, and using the union's pension funds for extortion. Faced with Disilva's cooperation and testimony at his trial set to begin April 28, Cashman pled guilty to both charges as well.

    Cashman and Disilva were originally indicted on Jan. 16, 2002, for allegedly arranging the placement of 19 non-employees on the payroll of Disilva's companies, thus robbing Local 25's Health Services and Insurance Plan of $72,000 from 1992-2001. More recently, the two were indicted on March 13 for extorting payments to Disilva after Cardinal Health Inc. refused to pay $100,000 to Disilva in exchange for Cashman settling a suit over Cardinal's obligation to the Local 25 pension fund. Cashman admitted to receiving $20,000 in the extortion case

    Cashman is still under federal investigation for allegations that he used threats and violence to control labor terms on movie sets in Massachusetts. But he will not be required to cooperate with prosecutors under his plea agreement. Cashman is expected to be sentenced to a prison term of 2&1/2 to 3 years, when he could have faced up to 8 years in prison if he had been convicted at his trial. Under the terms of Disilva's plea agreement, one of his companies -- Hutchinson Industries -- will pay restitution to Local 25 and be subject to a fine, which the U.S. Attny. for Mass. has recommended be $100,000. Disilva's formal sentencing will be on July 31. [U.S.A.O. MA 4/18/03: Boston Globe, 4/19/03, 4/25/03: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 4/25/03]

    Excerpted from NLPC's April 28, 2003 issue of Union Corruption Update

    The United States Attorney's Office District of Massachusetts
    April 25, 2003 Press Release:

  10. my2cents

    my2cents Guest

    The National Right to Work Committee responds to the comments made by the IBT's Bret Caldwell to the Boston Globe in the May issue of Forced-Unionism Abuses Exposed.