Should Teamsters Be Charged for Talking With Banned Officials?

May 23, 2007: International Vice President Frank Gillen was charged by the Independent Review Board (IRB) last month for giving false testimony to cover up his association with Thomas Ryan. Ryan was banned from the Teamsters for embezzling union funds.

Billy Hogan, the former president of Chicago Joint Council 25 and formerly Hoffa’s running mate, has been ordered to appear before judge Loretta Preska on charges of criminal contempt for repeatedly violation his ban on associating with Teamster members. (That hearing was scheduled for May 21 but has been postponed until July 17 because Hogan is getting a new attorney.)

Some Teamsters have asked, "Should association with a banned former Teamster official be an offense that you can be charged for?"

The logic is that once an official is removed for corruption, they should not be allowed to influence or direct our union through their contact with officials.

Opponents says that the ban outlaws contact that can be purely social in nature and that it unfairly restricts members’ free speech and association rights.

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