Big Apple Carpenters Union Local Stays Crooked
Federally-Authorized Compulsory Dues Undermine Clean-Up Efforts
(Source: September 2010 NRTWC Newsletter)
Samuel Johnson said it was second marriages that represent "the triumph of hope over experience."
But were the eminent sage living in the United States today, he would surely agree that an attorney who accepts appointment as the federal monitor of a corrupt union is even more quixotic than a widower who remarries.
Michael Forde was the fourth chief of New York City's District Council of Carpenters union to be charged with corruption since 1980. In late July, he pleaded guilty to racketeering and other related charges. Credit: Ward/Daily News (N.Y.C.)
One such brave soul is former New York state organized crime prosecutor Dennis Walsh. This spring, Mr. Walsh became the fifth federal monitor in the past 15 years to take on the daunting task of cleaning up the notorious New York City District Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners union (UBC).
Alleged Genovese Crime Family Associate Linked to New York Union Shakedown Scheme
In late July, Mr. Walsh achieved a breakthrough when Michael Forde, chieftain of the council from 1999 until 2009, confessed in court that he had for many years regularly extracted bribes "in the form of cash payments" from construction contractors.
He also confessed to perjury and obstruction of justice. In November, Mr. Forde will be sentenced, and he is expected to receive at least a nine-year prison term.