The Las Vegas-based chapter of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), Local 631, has been under an internal investigation since November for allegations of misconduct. Charges range from the misappropriation of funds to failure to control jurisdiction.
On Nov. 9, in a letter addressed to the officers and members of Local 631, General President James Hoffa decided to appoint a panel to consider whether trusteeship should be imposed over the Local Union by the IBT.
According to the document, charges against President Kevin Hardison so enraged Executive Board members they attempted to oust him without a hearing.
“A majority of the Executive Board determined to discharge the President from his position as Business Agent and then attempted to summarily remove him from his office as President,” wrote Hoffa. “It was necessary for me to intervene and prevent the majority of the Executive Board from taking this unlawful step of removing an elected officer without a hearing.”
Hardison and Secretary/Treasurer John Phillipenas have also filed dueling charges against each other according to the IBT document.
According to the IBT Constitution, Hoffa was required to designate a panel composed of uninvolved members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, at least one of whom was from the Las Vegas area.
The hearing to discuss trusteeship was held on December 13 and 14 at Local 14 in Las Vegas.
This is the second time since 2000 the International has called for a possible trusteeship over the 6,000-plus member local union.
At the hearing, testimony was given by the individuals involved with the charges listed in the letter written by Hoffa. Local members were also invited to express their viewpoints regarding possible trusteeship.
Attendance at the hearing exceeded the capacity of Local 14 and each member who left the hearing was replaced by a member waiting outside to gain entrance.
Members were given three minutes to express themselves and no one was denied the opportunity to speak.
The IBT declined to comment about the hearing.
The panel now must make their recommendations to Hoffa, either orally or in writing within 60 days after they receive transcripts of the testimonies.
After the panel delivers its recommendations, Hoffa has 15 days to decide whether trusteeship is warranted.
“The decision shall be promptly transmitted to the Local Union,” states the IBT Constitution. “Appeals, if any, from determinations following such hearings shall be taken directly to the General Executive Board.”
Should trusteeship be imposed on Local 631, major leadership changes could take effect immediately.
According to the constitution, “the Trustee shall be authorized and empowered to take full charge of the affairs of the Local Union … to remove any or all officers and appoint temporary officers at any time during his Trusteeship, and to take such other action as in his judgment is necessary for the preservation of the Local Union.”
If the current officers are removed, they must turn over all moneys, books and properties of the Local Union to the Trustee.
Exhibit City News will provide updates on this story as they become available.
Accusations of misconduct plague Teamsters Local 631
|People on the Move|