The Teamsters’ independent review board banned International Vice President Rome Aloise for two years on charges of corruption, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
Independent Investigations Officer Joseph E. diGenova recommend Aloise be banned from the union for life after diGenova found evidence that Aloise accepted bribes from companies in return for negotiating “sham” contracts. Aloise also used his power and influence to rig union elections in favor of his allies and against others.
“His actions established that despite full knowledge of the legal restrictions on his conduct, Aloise, a powerful union official, unhesitatingly engaged in willful and knowing violations when such misconduct furthered his personal goals,” diGenova wrote in a November memo. “Aloise has repeatedly shown his contempt for all legal restraints on his conduct. The only way to ensure Aloise’s non-involvement in IBT affairs is through an associational ban where both he and those IBT employees and officers who have knowing contacts with him can be held accountable.”
In a brief to Judge Barbara S. Jones who oversaw Aloise’s case, Aloise’s attorneys argued against diGenova’s recommended sentence, claiming that “A permanent associational ban would largely prohibit Mr. Aloise from earning any future income within his field of expertise,” according to Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), a group working to reform the Teamsters Union.
Teamsters decided to ban Aloise for two years and block him from collecting a $383,462 compensation package he earned by working for the union in various capacities, WFB reports.
At his final General Executive Board meeting, Aloise blamed a right-wing conspiracy for his downfall, saying his enemies targeted him as “the most powerful man in the Teamsters,” according to TDU.
TDU founding member Ken Paff said the Aloise punishment was a step in the right direction, but the majority of problems within the union are a result of a selfish culture with little discipline.
“The fact is the Hoffa administration is too [inclined] to say ‘too bad you got caught’ … they don’t take the attitude that someone who does something wrong is betraying the union,” Paff told WFB. “It is difficult, if not impossible, to clean up an institution by taking bad apples and throwing them out. They can just replace them with other bad apples. We feel best way forward is to convince members to … change the culture.”
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