State Supreme Court Bars State Prosecution
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The State Supreme Court has ruled that nine Roofers Union officials convicted in federal court of racketeering cannot be tried on similar charges in state court.
The men were convicted in 1987 of participating in a pattern of extortion, bribery and embezzlement backed by violence and intimidation. They were convicted under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO.
They were also charged with violations of the Pennsylvania Corrupt Organizations Act.
Montgomery County Common Pleas Court and state Superior Court had ruled that trial could proceed on the state complaint.
Supreme Court Justice Stephen A. Zappala wrote for a unanimous court Tuesday that the trial court’s definition of the men’s conduct was too narrowly focused on the individual criminal acts aimed at controlling the roofing industry.
″The allegations of the federal indictment and state criminal complaint disclose individual acts of bribery, threats, and intimidation, all designed to achieve that purpose,″ he wrote.
Despite the different individual crimes, he wrote, ″the scheme was unquestionably single-minded - i.e., control of the roofing industry.″
The defendants were sentenced in federal court to terms ranging from eight to 15 years for the RICO convictions.
They were Stephen Traitz Jr., Edward Hurst, Robert Crosley, Michael Mangini, Robert Medina, Stephen Traitz III, Mark Osborne, Robert Schoenberger and Joseph Traitz.