Ex-Union Leader Admits He Took Bribes

     (CN) – A former high-ranking official for the Carpenter’s Union pleaded guilty Friday to taking bribes from multiple contractors over the past 15 years in exchange for turning a blind eye to union violations.

     John Greaney, former president and business manager of the Carpenter’s Union Local 608, was the highest-ranking of seven union members to plead guilty in the labor racketeering scheme. He pleaded guilty to all 13 charges against him, including several counts of racketeering and wire fraud.
     In exchange for bribes, Greaney and other union officials allowed contractors to pay union members in cash without benefits, hire undocumented immigrants and refuse to pay union members their promised benefits.
     “In today’s tough economic times, the jobs of tradesmen cannot be entrusted to leaders making back-door deals to line their own pockets,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement, adding that Greaney’s guilty plea “unfortunately confirms that corruption has been deeply entrenched within the Carpenters Union.”
     Greaney and his co-conspirators hid their scheme by destroying documents, issuing union cards to undocumented workers and filing bogus shop steward reports, according to their indictment.
     The other defendants who pleaded guilty are Michael Brennan, Brian Carson, Finbar O’Neill, Joseph Ruocco, John Stamberger and Michael Vivenzio. They are all out on bail and are scheduled for sentencing at various times this year. Three defendants are scheduled to go on trial in September.
     Greaney is scheduled for sentencing in December.

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