Ethical lapses and selling out union members can be expensive, apparently.
A high-ranking Teamster boss accused of taking employer gifts, “interfering in a local union election, and negotiating a sham contract for his employer friend” is soliciting funds for his own legal defense, according to the Teamsters for a Democratic Union.
The powerful Teamster boss, Rome Aloise, is an ally of current Teamsters President James P. Hoffa and has multiple titles (and salaries) within the union.
Aloise’s positions, according to the Teamsters website, include international Vice President of the Teamsters union, as well as Secretary-Treasurer of Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif., Chairman of the Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund in California, Trustee of the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust Fund and President of Joint Council 7 in San Francisco.
For more than a year, Aloise has faced accusations of ethical violations—including that of accepting gifts from an employer and negotiating a “sham contract.”
Last February, an internal union review issued a 122-page report to the Teamsters’ executive board recommending that internal union charges be brought against Aloise.
“The report alleges that in 2013 Aloise requested and received six admission tickets to a Playboy Super Bowl party from an employer while in the midst of negotiations,” writes Oakland North’s Alexandria Fuller. “It also alleges that he requested a job for a cousin who was ineligible, entered into sham collective bargaining agreements between Local 853 and an employer, and took actions that allegedly compromised the rights of an elected candidate for a different Teamster local.”
Despite having multiple salaries in 2016 totaling $319,880, with a total compensation of $383,462, according to the TDU, defending himself against his ethical breaches does not come cheaply.
That is, apparently, why he has set up a Legal Defense Fund asking his supporters to donate money for his attorney fees.
What is the Rome Aloise Legal Defense Fund Collecting Money For?
To pay for the costs of defense arising out of any charges brought against Rome Aloise related to his conduct as an officer or representative of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), Teamsters Local 853, Teamsters Joint Council No. 7, and/or any Teamster-affiliated employee benefit trust fund.
According to the fund’s website, if there are any moneys left over, it will be donated to charity.
To borrow from a 1970s television show: If you can’t pay a dime, don’t do the crime.