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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 16, 1998
CONTACT: Dan Rene, 703-847-3088 or

LIUNA Boss Coia Under Investigation in Canada
NLPC Encourages U.S. Depít of Justice to Follow Canadaís lead
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today the National Legal and Policy Center applauded Ontarioís provincial investigators for opening an investigation to the ethically-challenged president of the Laborers' International Union of North America, Arthur A. Coia.

Further, NLPC encouraged the U.S. Department of Justice to follow the lead of their Canadian colleagues.  Specifically, Justice should admit that LIUNA's so-called internal reform efforts is a failure and should take over the scandal-ridden union before its court-recognized authority to do so lapses on January 31, 1999.

"At least one law enforcement organization in North America wants to see justice prevail in LIUNA," said NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm. "The so-called LIUNA ëreform effortí is a joke and failure.  Janet Reno and the U.S. Attorneyís office in Chicago should get their act together, take over LIUNA and oust Arthur Coia without further delay.î

 ìThis is just another example that LIUNAís in-house prosecutor, Robert Luskin, isn't doing an adequate job,î added Boehm.  ìThe only true way to clean up LIUNA and have justice is for a full-fledged government takeover of this corrupt union.î (For examples visit
 The Toronto Star reported on December 15, 1998 that the Financial Services Commission of Ontario has opened a fraud investigation into the ìfinances and dealingsî of the Labourersí Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada.  Arthur A. Coia is one of the Fundís five trustees being probed.  Coia is also the Fundís chairman.

 Investigators are probing a tainted 1989 land deal in which the Fund paid $23.7 million for a parcel of land that is now estimated to be worth $5 million according to the Star.  But the Fundís books list the value of the parcel at $28 million. The property is in Stoney Creek, Ontario.  There were purportedly plans to have condominiums built, but there has be no development on the land.  The parcel is owned by a company that is wholly controlled by the Fund. The Star said Ontario law and LIUNAís own in-house conflict-of-interest rules stated that the Fundís assets cannot be invested in a ìcorporation wholly owned or controlled either directly or indirectlyî by any trustee.

  The Justice Departmentís 1994 draft RICO complaint stated, ìLIUNA has been infiltrated at all levels by corrupt individuals and organized crime figures who have exploited their control and influence over the union for personal gain and to the detriment of the union.  LIUNA union officers and employees at all levels, including the general presidency [i.e. Arthur Coia], have been chosen, subject to the approval of, and have been controlled by, various members and associates of organized crime.î
 NLPCís Organized Labor Accountability Project is investigating and exposing corruption and abuses in the Teamsters, LIUNA, AFL-CIO and other labor organizations.  NLPC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit foundation promoting ethics and accountability in government through research, education and legal action.  NLPC was a plaintiff in the lawsuit which succeeded in opening the records of Hillary Rodham Clintonís Health Care Task Force.  Please visit

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