"Organized Labor Accountability Project"

For Influential Leaders & Important Decision Makers:
Information on America's most corrupt & aggressive unions

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703-847-3088, Fax 703-847-6969,

Vol. 3, Issue 3



Coia Pleads Guilty!

Arthur A. Coia, ex-boss of the Laborers Intl Union of N. Am., has agreed to plead guilty to a mail fraud charge related to union corruption. U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern in Boston and John R. McGlynn, of Dept of Labors Racketeering Division, announced Jan. 27 that Coia defrauded the State of Rhode Island and the Town of Barrington, R.I., of approximately $100,000 in taxes. The deal alleges that from 1991-97, Coia, with the assistance car dealers under the name of Viking (a LIUNA vendor), purchased Ferraris that ranged from $215,000 to $1,050,000 and avoided taxes due on the purchase and ownership of those cars. "While holding important leadership positions at LIUNA... Coia repeatedly found ways to shirk his duty to pay his taxes," said Stern.

In the plea, the government recommended a two-year probation term, full restitution and a $10,000 fine. Additionally, Coia is barred from any future role in LIUNA or its subordinate entities in any capacity, and to be barred from being an employee of any other union for a period of five years. Coia "retired" as LIUNAs boss on Jan. 1. He is now president emeritus and get $335,000 a year. The plea is subject to approval by U.S. Dist. Judge George A. O'Toole. [USAO D. Mass., Media Release 1/27/00]

"Coia's plea further illustrates that the Laborers ¡internal reform effort is a sham," said NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm. "Since 1995, Coia and LIUNA have perpetuated the myth that Coia is ¡squeaky clean. Finally, it is confirmed that Coia is just another dirty union boss. The Clinton-Reno Justice Department should be embarrassed that it has taken so long to bring Coia to partial justice."

"The agreement doesnt go far enough. For years Coia has avoided justice. Now that hes caught, the government should not go soft on him. Coia is a corrupt union boss who should get what he deserves -- prison," added Boehm.

Coia, in his office three blocks from the White House, used a Ferrari coffee mug, had Ferrari toy cars and displayed Ferrari posters. When union officials who disdained such "high living" visited his office, he would temporarily replace his Ferrari pictures with posters by Ralph Fasanella, a painter famous for his "loving" depictions of factories. [N.Y. Times 1/28/00]

DOJ Capitulates to LIUNA

Accountability sunk to a new low in the ongoing scam between the Dept of Justice and LIUNA. The extension of the 1995 DOJ-LIUNA agreement, by which the union avoided a DOJs racketeering suit and takeover, was set to expire Jan. 31. On Jan. 20, the agreement was replaced with a weakened agreement that expires in 2006. Unlike the prior agreement, the new deal has no takeover threat. Before, DOJ could take over the union if DOJ felt the unions "internal reform effort" was failing. Though the last five years have shown that this threat was meaningless, it was at least something. Now DOJ has virtually nothing: it can "veto" major changes in LIUNAs "internal reform effort." What is a major change? How will this "veto" be enforced?

The new agreement also calls for Stephen A. Goldberg, a law professor, to oversee LIUNAs 2001 and 2006 elections. He oversaw the 1996 election of corrupt ex-LIUNA boss Arthur A. Coia. [BNA, Providence J.-Bull. 1/21/00]


Buffalo Consent Decree Approved

In the latest illustration that the LIUNA "internal reform effort" is a failure, U.S. Dist. Judge Richard J. Arcara Jan. 24 approved a consent decree over LIUNA Local 210 in Buffalo. Arcara said the government takeover was "appropriate and necessary" and that he found "substantial evidence" that the affairs of Local 210 have been influenced by members of organized crime for more than 20 years. If such corruption is so pervasive in Local 210, what has LIUNAs "internal reform effort" been doing the last five years?

A 114-page civil complaint filed under RICO sought injunctive relief to insure that Local 210 is "rid of domination and influence by members and associates of the La Cosa Nostra organized crime family." The complaint was filed by DOJ and LIUNA in Dec., but Arcara forced LIUNA out because of a conflict of interest. LIUNA had run Local 210 and it was suing Local 210. The judge didnt want LIUNA to be both plaintiff and defendant. [BNA 1/26/00]

Rhode Island Boss Indicted for Embezzlement Michael Fascitelli, the business manager of a LIUNA Local 1056 was indicted Jan. 12 by a Rhode Island grand jury on a felony embezzlement charge for allegedly using his union-issued credit card for personal purchases. The amount was not disclosed. The embezzlement allegedly occurred between 1996 and 1997. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 26. [Providence J.-Bull. 1/15/00]

Union Corruption Update is part of NLPC's Organized Labor Accountability Project which is investigating and exposing corruption and extremism in the Teamsters, LIUNA, AFL-CIO and many other union organizations. NLPC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit foundation promoting ethics and accountability in government through research, education and legal action.

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