August 26,1998

Mr. Robert D. Luskin, GEB Attorney

2828 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20007-3763

Dear Sir,

Corruption won another victory in California yesterday. At the regular Hod Carriers Health and Welfare Trust Fund meeting, Ramon Duran (found guilty of barred conduct) appointed Ken Casarez to Hod Carriers Local #36 Trust Fund. When I called Douglas Gow for clarification, I was told by William Rice of the Inspector General's office they had nothing to do with trust fund matters and that if Supervisor Max Warren approved this, it was all right. After $40 million dollars went missing from the Mason Tenders in New York, why didn't the U.S. Justice Department and your office negotiate a formula for ending corruption at the trust fund level?

I returned to the meeting where the regular order of business was conducted. When we came to new business, a motion was put on the floor by Ryan O'Brien, Secretary of the California Conference of the Mason Contractors Association (CCMCA), to merge the San Jose Hod Carriers Trust Fund with that of the Northern California District Council of Laborers. O'Brien, Casarez and Duran voted to leave our joint fund and, after a discussion, we all agreed it would be best for everybody if they do leave. The Administrator will find out who is entitled to what and work out a settlement.

We look at this as a positive development: we will be getting rid of Ray Duran, who was found guilty of barred conduct and left in office by first International Vice President Mason Warren, and Ryan O'Brien, who has represented non-union contractors as well as union contractors all his life.

I feel sorry for the Hod Carriers in San Jose, as they will now belong to a trust fund whose trustees have sided in the past with contractors who didn't pay the members the required benefits and threatened Hod Carriers Local #36 with legal action for collecting what the men were due. This brings me to my next question: Who is going to get the $1.85 per hour that will no longer be collected by our joint fund on behalf of the members? Is the CCMCA going to develop another useless promotional slush fund for the Hod Carriers to pay into? Or will a miracle be seen in California, will the members actually benefit by a Mason Warren maneuver?

It's like I said - this is not reform, it is a retreat until the government is out the way. I am considering writing the Justice Department and urging them to end the agreement. As far as I am concerned, any member who talks to the GEB Attorney or the Inspector General is risking their life. It has become apparent the rules are not going to be applied equally: If you supported Arthur Coia at the convention, you can get away with anything. Max Warren, Archie Thomas and Charlie LeConche are prime examples.

When it comes to the LIUNA-Justice Department agreement, retreat is the watchword, not reform.

Acrimoniously Yours,

Alex Corns

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