January 23, 2013: The Independent Review Board (IRB) has sent a 141-page investigative report to Teamster president James Hoffa, calling for charges against the former top Teamsters in Minnesota, Brad Slawson Sr and Jr, along with their family friend and business partner, Todd Chester.
The IRB report, which is available here, alleges that both Brad Slawson Sr and Jr committed racketeering and bank fraud. While the IRB does not have the authority to bring criminal charges in federal court, the report is no doubt already in the hands of the Justice Department.
The Slawsons have bragged that they will return to the union hall. It now seems they should be less concerned about getting into the union hall than with staying out of federal housing-with-bars.
The Slawsons were removed from running the 11,000-member Minnesota Local 120 in November, when the IRB recommended that Hoffa place the local in trusteeship, which he then did.
The new IRB document covers much of the same material as the November IRB report, but now recommends that eleven specific charges be brought to expel the Slawsons from the Teamsters and bar them for life from the union. In addition to racketeering, the IRB alleges numerous acts of embezzlement totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, diversion of strike fund money, padding payments to a building contractor, violation of the bylaws, signing a sham collective bargaining agreement, and lying under oath.
From Minnesota Viking tickets to liquor sales to building a new union hall, it seems the opportunities to skim money were taken.
Slawson Sr and Jr were paid $469,228 in salaries and expenses in 2011 from the union treasury. The IRB report says they were embezzling a lot more for several years.
The IRB is jointly-appointed by the union leadership and the U.S. Justice Department, and responsible for investigating corruption within our union. The Hoffa administration is attempting to abolish it.
Background: Read Why Hoffa Won't Take on Corruption, IRB Hits Corruption in Local 120.
Further reading: Slawson Holds Fundraiser!