July 12, 2007: The International Union and New York Local 237 are investigating International Vice President Carroll Haynes over tens of thousands of dollars in payments he received from an HMO that does business with the Teamsters.
The union investigation came in response to a report in last month’s Convoy Dispatch. Research by Teamsters for a Democratic Union uncovered that Haynes received $54,500 as a “consultant” to Health Insurance Plans (HIP) of New York, the plan that provides benefits to Teamster Local 237 members.
Haynes served as Local 237 President and a trustee to its benefit funds at the time he took the payments from HIP. He resigned as Local 237 president in April.
Local 237 Investigates
Haynes’ successor at Local 237, Gregory Floyd, told the Chief-Leader newspaper that “on advice from counsel, he had not spoken with Mr. Haynes” since the HIP payments were uncovered.
Haynes served on the board of directors of HIP and on the HIP Foundation board of directors. The stipend came from the foundation board. Floyd, who also serves on the HIP New York board, said he did not receive a stipend and would not accept one.
Haynes has routinely made over $300,000 from his multiple salaries and pensions. In 2003, TDU caught Haynes taking a higher salary than legally permitted by the Teamsters Constitution. After charges were filed, Hoffa allowed Haynes to get off by repaying the $8,000 overpayment, claiming it was a “clerical error.”
Now, Haynes is under investigation for his “consulting” fees.
“We are going to wait and see if it’s permissible to accept stipends,” Floyd said. “At this point we’re not sure, because HIP provides health benefits to the city and does our prescriptions.”
$54,500 ‘Consulting Fee’
TDU uncovered the $54,500 “stipend” on an LM-30 financial disclosure form that Haynes filed with the Department of Labor. By law, union officials must report any income that comes from an entity that does business with their union. The law is intended to flag any conflicts of interest or undue influence that could compromise a union’s ability to properly serve its members.
Local 237 has hired an attorney to investigate whether a technical violation of the Teamster Constitution or Local 237 bylaws occurred.
The larger question is whether a Teamster officer and benefit fund trustee should be taking $54,500 from an HMO that makes millions through its contract with our union’s largest local.
In the old days, vendors made payoffs to officials under the table. Today, they pay “consultant fees.” Does that make it right?
Many city unions in New York contract with HIP and union officers have long served on its board of directors. But while Haynes bagged more than $50,000, officers from other unions—including those from the United Federation of Teachers and AFSCME—did not accept any fees.