MANHATTAN (CN) – The head of the Carpenters Union District Council in New York City has been indicted with nine others on federal charges of taking bribes to allow construction companies to cheat union workers of millions of dollars at jobs in New York City. Michael Forde was charged along with seven other union officials, a construction contractor and a contractor’s representative.
Forde oversaw 20,000 union members in 11 locals overseen by the District Council of New York City and Vicinity, according to the 29-count indictment.
The Carpenters Union and its locals and District Council have been bound by a federal consent decree since 1994, for its “history of union corruption and organized crime influence within the District Council,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
“In exchange for the bribes, the defendants allowed and helped certain contractors to defraud the union and its benefit funds out of millions of dollars by permitting the contractors to, among other things, pay union members cash at below-union rates, without benefits; employ illegal aliens and non-union workers on their job sites; and avoid payment to the union benefit funds,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Also charged were Local 608 President and Business Manager John Greaney; Local 608 officer Brian Hayes; shop stewards Michael Brenna, Brian Carson, Joseph Ruocco, John Stamberger, and Michael Vivenzio; Finbar O’Neill, a contractor who allegedly helped deliver the bribes to Forde; and Joseph Olivieri, executive director of the Association of Wall, Ceiling and Carpentry Industries of New York.