Readers of this blog are well aware that Federal law essentially protects union-led violence campaigns against prosecution. But when Don Adams, a Philadelphia resident, protested a visit to City Hall by then-President Bill Clinton, the last thing he expected was the beating of his life by a group of local teamster thugs. And to add insult to injury, a federal judge has ordered Adams to pay the International Brotherhood of Teamsters $15,000 in legal costs stemming from the October 2000 civil rights suit.
According to Philadelphia, Pa.’s, The Bulletin:
Nine years ago, two protesters at City Hall received the lambasting [a fancy word for a beating] of their lives.
During a public protest against former President Bill Clinton, Don Adams and his sister, Teri Adams, were attacked by a group of Teamsters. . . .
Five members of Teamster Local 115 eventually pleaded guilty to criminal assault, conspiracy and other charges.
Several years ago, Judge William H. Yohn dismissed the Adams’ federal civil rights claim and remanded the civil suit back to state court. Charges of malicious prosecution, conspiracy and defamation of character are still being litigated against the Teamsters Local 115 and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters for accusing Don Adams of being involved with organized crime. One count of malicious prosecution still stands against Gov. Ed Rendell, for his alleged involvement in the attack.
According to Don Adams, Mr. Rendell, Philadelphia mayor at the time, has since admitted to inviting Local 115 Vice President John Morris and Local 115 members to attend the rally at City Hall. Don Adams said Gov. Rendell acknowledged in court he encouraged the teamsters to “drown out” Clinton protesters. A spokesperson for Gov. Rendell said they have filed a motion to dismiss the charge but no decision has yet been reached.
Even though a technicality in Pennsylvania law seems to allow the Teamsters to collect attorney fees, The Bulletin reports that Adams refuses to back down from his fight.
“But this case transcends the spirit of that rule,” Joe Adams said.
“We made the argument the Teamsters should not be awarded those costs. It seems inequitable that you would have that kind of result.”
Joe Adams stood trial in 1999 on assault charges brought by one Teamster. He was found not guilty.
Don Adams said the attack was organized and led by late Teamster boss John Morris. The union boss died in May 2002 of heart failure.
“There was a great injustice perpetrated against myself and my sister,” Don Adams said.
“It is clear the Teamsters have no interest in trying to resolve the matter in an amicable way.”
Don Adams said he suffered “pummeling, kicking and punching,” on Oct. 2 outside City Hall, after anti-Clinton demonstrators collided with pro-Clinton demonstrators. The assault was captured on video.
“It was a clear attempt to silence us,” he said. . . .
“Had the [federal] court decided to keep those state law claims in federal court, those claims would have been heard, and, based on all the evidence, we should have prevailed,” . . . Adams said.
A trial has been scheduled for April of next year in Philadelphia Common Please [sic] Court.