The Power Brokers Who Pulled the Plug

When the mob wanted IBT anti-corruption investigations in Chicago shut down, they turned to three Hoffa allies to make it happen, intelligence sources told investigators.

Three Teamsters were identified as “the key figures” behind the shutdown of organized crime investigations in Chicago, including John Coli, the president of the 100,000-member Joint Council 25.Coli also heads Teamsters Local 727, one of the locals targeted by Stier’s investigators for organized crime influence and corruption, including:
  • Allegations of kickbacks and other improper payments in the Local 727 benefit fund;
  • Allegations that benefit plan vendors and fund employees were tied to organized crime;
Reports that a business agent has organized crime associations and received improper payments from the local’s benefit fund.

Coli’s family past is riddled with organized crime associations. His father, James E. Coli, headed the local and was as a member of organized crime outfits, according to law enforcement officials. Coli’s brother James L. took over the local, but was barred in connection with an investigation of a business agent who was an organized crime figure.

Hoffa’s shutdown put an end to RISE investigations of organized crime influence in Coli’s local. He is now reportedly under investigation by the FBI.

The other “key figures” named by sources were Billy Hogan, Jr. Hoffa’s one-time running mate, and Carlow Scalf, who at that time served as Hoffa’s Executive Assistant and chief of staff.

Scalf was fired last month after TDU urged Judge Loretta Preska to reject Scalf’s 60-day suspension as an insufficient penalty for embezzling nearly $69,000 from the IBT.

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