NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal investigator's letter to two Teamsters union trustees suggests the government is ignoring allegations linking the union president to organized crime, Time reported.

The investigator, retired federal Judge Frederick B. Lacey, released a report in July that exonerated Teamsters President Ron Carey of any mob ties.

But a copy of the letter obtained by Time says Lacey warned the Teamsters trustees against going public with alleged evidence against Carey.

The letter, which was dated three months earlier than the report, said that if they ``brought Carey down'' it would play into the hands of ``old guard'' Teamsters who wanted to eliminate him as a candidate in 1996.

``The clock could be turned back to what it was when I first came on the scene as independent Administrator,'' Lacey said in the letter published in Time's May 15 issue.

Carey was elected head of the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters in 1991 and is mulling a decision on a second term. He has said he would tout his three years of fighting corruption.

Lacey heads the Independent Review Board, a three-member agency set up by the Justice Department to supervise the Teamsters union.

Last year's report criticized Carey for making false statements about real estate dealings but accepted his denials of mob ties. Justice Department spokesman Jim Sweeney told The Associated Press that the report was ``thorough and extensive.''

Thomas Puccio, one of the court-appointed trustees, said Lacey's investigation ``was sufficient'' to meet its own standards but declined to discuss Lacey's letter, Time said.

The other trustee, Michael Moroney, said he was convinced that Alfonse D'Arco _ a former acting boss of New York's Lucchese crime family who made the allegations about Carey _ told the truth and that ``an appropriate investigation would bear (D'Arco) out.''