Teamsters Want Federal Oversight Ended
June 27, 2001
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 6:00 p.m. ET
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The Teamsters Union wants an end to 12 years of federal
oversight, insisting it's free of organized crime influences and able to
James P. Hoffa, expected nominee for a second term as Teamsters president,
said the federal government should end oversight begun under a 1989 consent
decree with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
Hoffa, son of long-missing Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, cited overwhelming
approval at the union's convention for direct election of Teamsters leaders
starting this fall.
``We have come full circle and have cleaned up our union,'' Hoffa said in a
statement released after the ``one-member, one-vote'' measure won voice
vote approval Tuesday from convention delegates.
Union spokesman Bret Caldwell said Wednesday that the vote showed
``extraordinarily obvious'' support from about 1,600 of the convention's
The 1989 consent decree settled a racketeering lawsuit filed by then-U.S.
Attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani alleging Teamsters leadership was linked to
organized crime. Giuliani is now mayor of New York.
Herbert Hadad, spokesman for current U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White in
Manhattan, said Wednesday that the government was continuing to work with
the Teamsters ``to ensure that the goals of the consent decree are achieved.''
Hadad declined to say whether the Teamsters and White's office discussed
dissolving the government's Independent Review Board before Hoffa called
Tuesday for the government to get out.
The decree established the oversight panel that has, over the years, led to
the removal of about 100 union officials and cost the union almost $100
million, union officials say.
``There is no organized crime influence at the top of our union,'' Caldwell
said Wednesday, the third day of at the union's 26th international
convention in Las Vegas.
``Certainly, we have pockets of challenges and we address those issues
head-on,'' he said.
Hoffa won the Teamsters presidency in 1999 after promising to root out
corruption and end the federal oversight.
He is expected to be nominated Thursday for another five-year term heading
the Teamsters. The union represents 1.4 million members in the United
States and Canada. Hoffa supporters say they control more than 90 percent
of the convention delegates.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press