TERENCE M. O'SULLIVAN
CARL E. BOOKER
General Secretary -Treasurer
MASON M. WARREN
VERE 0. HAYNES
MIKE QUEVEDO, JR
ARMAND E. SABITONI
Assistant to the
TERRENCE M. HEALY
RAYMOND M. POCINO
EDWARD M. SMITH
JAMES C. HALE
JOSEPH S. MANCINELLI
JOSEPH J. LICASTRO
WILLIAM H. QUINN
MICHAEL S. BEARSE
905-16th Street, NW
Fax: (202) 737-2754
Re: Arthur A. Coia - Emeritus Status
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I am advised that the membership of Local
942 recently adopted a resolution opposing the General Executive
Board's decision to name Arthur A. Coia as General President Emeritus.
Briefly, the Board's unanimous action in
awarding emeritus status to former General President Coia was
intended to recognize his many contributions to LIUNA and our
members, including his leadership in encouraging training and
apprenticeship programs, organizing, labor-management cooperation,
workers' health and safety programs, and more recently, in leading
our unique internal reform programs instituted in 1995 and recognized
by the Department of Justice as successful and effective. Indeed,
the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston as a matter of record has
acknowledged former General President Coia's essential role in
the establishment and support for these programs.
Prior to the Board's action to grant emeritus
status, both the Department of Justice and the General Executive
Board Attorney were so advised, and the Department of Justice
expressly approved the award of "emeritus" status as
part of the recent Plea Agreement. Further, the General Executive
Board was informed of the paiticulars of that Plea Agreement.
Moreover, as former General President Coia was never indicted
while in office, he was never subject to suspension. Indeed, while
the internal disciplinary charges were pending, Mr. Luskin affirmed
that he had no objection to Mr. Coia's continuing to serve.
As I am certain you know, Mr. Coia was fully
and completely exonerated on all charges that he had improper
associations with organized crime figures. Moreover, it was expressly
found by the Independent Hearing Officer that while his actions
in purchasing the Ferrari F40 constituted a conflict of interest
warranting a significant fine, there was no financial loss or
detriment to LIUNA or our members. The subsequent plea agreement
in Boston likewise did not involve conduct resulting in any economic
harm to the Union.
As for Mr. Coia's unique contributions in
developing LIUNA's successful internal reform programs, let me
quote from a letter of January 19, from U.S. Attorney Donald Stern
confirming that Mr. Coia had provided substantial assistance to
the United States, as follows:
Mr. Coia has been supportive of the reform process from the beginning, both overall and in specific areas. The General Executive Board Attorney of LIUNA, who has been responsible for developing cases and bringing charges in the reform process, has determined that Mr. Coia's assistance in establishing the process, encouraging support for the process within the Union, and assisting in specific cases has been instrumental and substantive.
In the past, the General Executive Board
granted emeritus status to officers who, over the years, made
especially significant contributions to the Union. The authority
for such action is expressly provided in Article VIII, §
2(b) of the International Union Constitution, which states that:
It [the General Executive Board] may for good cause, illness, or disability, make such financial provision for an officer or employee of the International Union as it deems is warranted by the length and character of the service rendered to the International Union by the individual.
Brother Thomas reported that at least some
members are under the mistaken impression that Mr. Coia's "emeritus"
status costs the Union $250,000. Rather, as in prior cases, the
cost is limited to the difference between Mr. Coia's $250,000
salary as General President and his earned pension. That difference
is approximately $84,000 per year in this case.
This letter is being forwarded to the General
Executive Board Attorney for such further response or consideration
as he may deem warranted.
cc: Terence M. O'Sullivan, General President
Carl E. Booker, General Secretary-Treasurer
Northwest Regional Office
Robert D. Luskin, GEB Attorney
W. Douglas Gow, Inspector General