Hoffa backers say they'll ask U.S. to throw out Carey's team U.S. attorney asked to lead Teamsters

November 27, 1997|By BOSTON GLOBE

One day after Ron Carey stepped down as president of the Teamsters, supporters of James P. Hoffa say they would ask the federal government to remove the rest of Carey's slate of officers from their elected union posts.

Richard Leebove, a Hoffa aide based in Detroit, said yesterday his office would ask Mary Jo White, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, to form a coalition government to run the union until a new election is held.

"Basically, we are saying that the people who are currently in office and running the union really shouldn't be there," he said. "All of Carey's slate should step down and the union should be run by the five Hoffa international vice presidents, and the one Canadian whose elections have been certified."

A spokesman for White's office could not be reached for comment.

Hoffa, son of the notorious Teamsters leader James R. Hoffa, lost a bitterly contested election last year to Carey, 52 percent to 48 percent. But Hoffa's supporters dug up evidence of campaign finance violations by Carey that led an election monitor in August to throw out the results and force a new vote in 1998.

Carey was later barred from running in that election, and on Tuesday he took an unpaid leave of absence from his post just hours before a federal oversight board determined that he had participated in the financing schemes. Carey has denied knowing about the diversion of more than $800,000 from the union's treasury to his campaign coffers.

The U.S. attorney's office in New York has been involved in overseeing the 1.4 million-member union since the settlement of a 1989 racketeering suit against the Teamsters. It continues to investigate the campaign finance allegations, and signed an agreement with the union on Monday authorizing an independent auditor.

Gaye Williams, a spokeswoman for the international union, said members of the Carey slate should be allowed to remain in office because they have not been charged with any wrongdoing.

"None of the members of the General Executive Board have, in any way, been implicated in any of the charges brought against the consultants who worked for Mr. Carey," Williams said.

On Tuesday, Secretary-Treasurer Thomas Sever assumed temporary responsibility for the union after Carey stepped down.

Pub Date: 11/27/97

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