Update on Corruption Charges: Scearcy, Rabinowitz and Other Officials in the West

Some of the 18 Teamster officials in the Western region charged by the Teamster Independent Investigations Officer (IIO) in May and July of 2023 have been suspended from office or resigned their positions, while others await the decision of Judge Barbara Jones. Judge Jones serves as the Teamster Independent Review Officer (IRO) and makes the final decisions on corruption charges filed by the IIO.

Local 2010 Principal Officer Jason Rabinowitz resigned as Joint Council 7 President and awaits a decision from the Teamster IRO.
Image Source: Teamsters Local 2010

Three officials who ran on the Vairma-Herrera Slate in the 2021 International Union election are among the charged officers.  They are all charged for their role in aiding disgraced former IBT Vice President Rome Aloise to direct union business after he was suspended from the union for corruption and taking gifts from a major employer during bargaining.

John Scearcy is one of the three Vairma-Herrera candidates for International VP charged by the IIO, and is now suspended from the union. Scearcy stepped out of his position of secretary treasurer for Local 117, the largest local in the Northwest, to become the local’s “Advisor,” after he was charged with working with Aloise while Aloise was suspended. The IRO, Judge Barbara Jones, ended his “advisor” position when she sustained his one-year suspension on February 14.

Scearcy has become something of a spokesperson for old-guard opponents of the IBT leadership; he falsely claims on social media that the charges filed against him by the IIO and sustained by the IRO were a plot by IBT leaders. But the IIO and IRO operate independently of the IBT leadership, and were in fact appointed by former IBT president James Hoffa. Local 117 chief organizer Leonard Smith was given an 18-month suspension in the same case.

Jason Rabinowitz is another Vairma slate candidate who has similar corruption charges pending.  He is the principal officer of California Local 2010. Rabinowitz is an attorney who was appointed by Aloise to head Local 2010 when it was in Trusteeship and has served ever since. He entered into a settlement with the IBT regarding the charges against him, but the IIO objected to the settlement and is requesting a stiffer penalty. This is before the IRO for a final ruling. In early February Rabinowitz resigned as the president of Northern California Joint Council 7.

Peter Nuñez, the former principal officer of Fresno, California Local 431, is the third Vairma slate candidate charged with facilitating Aloise’s corruption.  He awaits a decision but retired from office last fall.

Two former principal officers were given long suspensions for facilitating Aloise’s corruption. Dennis Hart, former principal officer of Oakland Local 853, was banned from associating with Teamsters for one year and from holding office for five years.  Former Southern California Local 166 principal officer Mike Bergen was suspended for three years.  Both are now gone from the Teamsters.

A number of other officers and business agents in Northern California await decisions on the charges against them, or status of settlement agreements on their charges.

For More Information

You can read reports on the various charges and find links to the detailed documentation of the charges here and here.

The November 28, 2023 report of the IIO and IRO can be read here.

The Teamster anti-corruption program, including the IIO and the IRO, is part of the Final Consent Order and is a permanent part of our IBT Constitution at Article 19, Section 14.

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