Chicago’s Top Teamster Hit with Trusteeship for Financial Malfeasance

The International Union today placed Chicago Local 731 in an emergency trusteeship, and removed principal officer Terry Hancock and all other officers. The statement of reasons is a litany of longstanding financial wrongdoing.

Photo: Terry Hancock (left), with former Illinois State Senator Tom Cullerton (right). Cullerton was sentenced to prison in 2022 for taking a fraudulent Teamster salary.

The trusteeship report signed by General President Sean O’Brien summarizes financial shenanigans such as paying for personal perks like auto spoilers, a designer handbag, and a pedicure.

The report notes that large sums of money were spent for improper purposes or without proper approval, such as $15,914 spent at Gibson’s and other bars and steakhouses; $65,944 spent on improper purposes without an receipts, including two charges at Gibson's totaling $37,034.75; and $303,975.93 in year-end bonuses which were not approved by the membership.

Good Riddance, Terry Hancock

Terry Hancock has also headed Joint Council 25, which covers the state of Illinois. He has been the highest paid official in the entire IBT, hauling in over $420,000 in 2021 in multiple salaries. Apparently it wasn’t enough for Hancock!

Joint Council 25 is ripe for new leadership. Hancock’s predecessor as JC 25 president, John Coli, is currently serving 19 months in prison for taking $325,000 in employer payoffs.

Coli was removed by action of the Independent Investigations Officer (IIO) who referred charges to the IBT; the IBT then expelled Coli from the Teamsters. This new action has been taken by the Teamsters president, without waiting for the IIO.

Pat Darrow of Local 348 and the Ohio Conference was today appointed the Trustee in charge of Local 731 during the temporary trusteeship.

Local 731 members last year began to organize to remove Hancock on their own, when they organized a slate in 731’s local election last year. The Teamster Unity Slate included several waste industry members and won 44% of the vote.

International Audits Showed Longstanding Pattern

The International Union's trusteeship report notes that International audits conducted in 2012-2015 and 2015-2018 revealed these problems and instructed Hancock and the Local 731 officers to correct them. They failed to comply with those directives.

But the Hoffa administration took no further action, so Hancock was given a free hand to continue abusing the union treasury. That abuse appears to be over.

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