Hoffa Can't Kick the Corruption Habit

November 26, 2012: A report uncovers an embezzlement scandal by Teamster officials.

It's a new chapter in an old story. Why can't Hoffa kick the corruption habit?

The Independent Review Board has issued an exhaustive 139-page report detailing scams to divert union funds to Minnesota Local 120 officials and their family and friends. Click here to download the report.

The corruption occurred right under the nose of the Hoffa administration, which turned a blind eye.

Until recently, Local 120 was headed by Tom Keegel, who was the General Secretary-Treasurer of the Teamsters, and in charge of the IBT auditors who are supposed to safeguard union finances.

Keegel turned the local over to Brad Slawson, Sr. and Brad Slawson, Jr., who the IRB report exposes as the architects and beneficiaries of a web of embezzlements schemes.

During the period that the Slawsons were robbing Local 120 blind, Hoffa named Slawson, Sr. to the General Executive Board.

It's the latest chapter in an old tale. The details change but the story remains the same.

In Southern California, it was Paul Kenny using $154,929 in Local 630 funds to buy high-priced food and wine.

In Boston, it was IBT Trade Show Director John Perry cutting sweetheart deals and employing goons to assault and intimidate members who complained to Hoffa.

In Chicago and Las Vegas, it was Hoffa's first running mate Billy Hogan and Hoffa's special
assistant Dane Passo cutting sweetheart deals that undercut Teamster contracts.

In every case, Teamster corruption undermines members and weakens our union's power–not least because anti-union employers seize on these scandals to undermine union organizing drives.

When he first came into office, Hoffa hired former federal prosecutor Edwin Stier to put together the RISE anti-corruption program. But when Stier looked into Teamster corruption in Chicago, Chicago Joint Council head John Coli had Hoffa halt the investigation.  Stier resigned, and Hoffa’s costly RISE program went up in smoke.

Protecting members' dues and our union's integrity sometimes requires running afoul of Teamster power brokers. Hoffa won't do that. And that's why after 14 years in office Hoffa still can't kick the corruption habit.

TDU will continue to organize members for a corruption-free Teamsters Union.

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