Profiles of Hoffa Associates
Profiles of Hoffa Associates
The Associated Press
Mar. 31, 1998
Background information on some Hoffa slate members and supporters.
_William T. Hogan, Jr., chosen for the No. 2 place on Hoffa's 1996 slate, was named by the President's Commission on Organized Crime as an associate of the Accardo family. Hogan was removed from the slate after the court-appointed Independent Review Board placed his Chicago Local 714 under trusteeship, citing rampant nepotism within the local and sham contracts between the local and employers related to Hogan.
_Larry Brennan, president of Detroit Local 337 and Michigan Teamsters Joint Council 43, hired Hoffa as the council's administrative assistant, thus making Hoffa eligible to run for the union presidency. Brennan was an organizer of BLAST, which used violence to combat union reformers. Brennan's local is a frequent target of federal investigators. In 1994, the Labor Department forced the joint council's health and welfare fund to repay $725,000 for excessive expenses, which included $99,000 in spending on such entertainment as golf outings and visits to strip clubs. Hoffa did collection work for the benefit fund for three years, and his two sons had part-time jobs there. Underscoring the close ties between Brennan and Hoffa is the fact that Hoffa's spokesman, Richard Leebove, and an attorney who has represented Hoffa's campaign, George Geller, both former Lyndon LaRouche activists, also have been on retainer to Brennan's local.
_Mike Bane, another Hoffa associate in Detroit, was convicted of embezzlement in 1978, when he worked for a hotel workers' local, and once was photographed stomping a dissident Teamsters member. Now president of Local 614, Bane issued Hoffa a union card after Hoffa's membership was terminated at Local 283 by officers who had opposed George Vitale. Hoffa had worked for the local under Vitale, who was charged with embezzlement and other labor law violations. Bane was previously fired as a business agent at Local 614 for charging personal expenses to his union credit card.
_T.C. Stone was dropped from the Hoffa slate and suspended from the union for eight years by the IRB for ``financial misconduct.'' The board said Stone and other local officers practiced favoritism in granting members work, received $750,000 in interest-free loans from the union treasury, and placed the titles of the union's sedans under their own names. The local ``had a history of ... allegations of physical injury to members who challenged local leadership,'' it said.
_James Santangelo, who is running for a regional vice president's slot on the Hoffa slate, has been charged by the IRB for making illegal loans with union funds to himself and other officers at his California local. The IRB also noted that Santangelo was accused of associating with reputed West Coast Mafia kingpin Peter John Milano by former Teamsters President Jackie Presser, who was himself an associate of organized crime and an FBI informant. And Santangelo was named in another IRB case as a key player in securing employment at the local for Milano's the son-in-law.
_Chicago Local 710 President Frank Wsol abandoned his plan to run with Hoffa before the nominating convention after he was suspended from the union for conspiring to have a dissident fired from his job. Wsol was reinstated at the convention, where Hoffa delegates dominated, and was a major Hoffa fund-raiser. Recently, the union's Ethical Practices Committee charged Wsol with violating the rights of members in his union by voiding a contract with a local trucking company without seeking their approval and forcing them to accept an inferior deal negotiated by a rival union.