IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON

AT SEATTLE

 

EDGAR HANSON,

 

Plaintiff

pro se,

 

v.

 

ALEXIS HERMAN,

U.S. SECRETARY OF LABOR,

Defendant.

 

NO. CO1_0071

 

COMPLAINT FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW OF SECRETARY'S DECISION; COSTS AND DAMAGES

 

 

 

I. PARTIES

 

1. The plaintiff, Edgar Hanson, is a 34-year member in good standing and a 1999 candidate for the office of business manager of Local 302, International Union of Operating Engineers. Hanson currently resides in Washington state.

 

2. The United States Department of Labor is an administrative agency of the federal government headquartered in Washington DC. The Department regulates the activities of labor organizations which are involved in interstate commerce and in industries in which labor disputes would hinder or obstruct commerce. The Department, through one of its several agency divisions, also investigates internal union elections when timely complaints are properly filed. The Secretary of Labor is the chief administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department's district office is located at 1111 Third Avenue,

 

COMPLAINT FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW OF SECRETARY'S

DECISION; COSTS AND DAMAGES  

 

Edgar Hanson, pro se

Vancouver, WA 98665

(360) 699-6143

 

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Seattle, WA 98101.

 

II. JURISDICTION

 

3. This action involves a controversy arising under 29 U.S.C. § 481, which governs election procedures for local labor organizations. Local 302 of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) is a "labor organization" within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. Sec. 402(i). The plaintiff seeks judicial review, and the U.S. District Court has jurisdiction to consider this case, under 28 U.S.C. § 1337 as a case arising under an Act of Congress regulating commerce. The Secretary's decision not to sue Local 302 of IUOE is reviewable by the U.S. District Court under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 702, 704 and under the reviewing standard specified in § 706 (2)(A). The Secretary's decision not to sue is not excepted from judicial review by 5 U.S.C. § 701(a).

 

III. GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

 

4. Plaintiff Edgar Hanson alleges that his rights were infringed with resulting harm caused by intentional acts of election fraud by the incumbent officers of Local 302 IUOE during the 1999 general election of officers. Additionally, the incumbent officers of the union intentionally violated portions of Title IV of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), as well as the union constitution and bylaws during the same election period. The incumbents committed

 

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their unlawful conduct in order to affect the outcome of the election in their favor and to cause an intentional loss for Edgar Hanson.

 

5. Hanson further alleges that his rights were violated which resulted in harm when U.S. Secretary Herman failed to bring suit against Local 302 in federal court to invalidate and void the 1999 election and force a rerun.

 

6. Hanson posesses evidence which demonstrates fraud and election violations committed by the incumbent officers in the 1999 election. Hanson's evidence also demonstrates a clear pattern of unlawful conduct, including perjury and fraud, committed by incumbent officers during the 1996 election, in which Hanson was also a candidate.

 

7. Hanson alleges and has evidence to prove that the incumbent officers, and particularily Hanson's direct opponent Clyde Wilson, hired Dave Clements of the accounting firm Lockitch, Clements and Rice (LCR) to commit election fraud in favor of the incumbents. Clements was not the low bidder to serve as Election Supervisor. Wilson chose Clements to serve anyway, even though some members from the rank-and-file proposed that someone other than LCR supervise the election. Dave Clements had a severe conflict of interest as LCR concurrently served as the union's accountant and internal auditor. LCR held that position previously for 30-years.

 

8. Hanson emphatically objected to the employment of Dave Clements of LCR as the Election Supervisor, as Clements

 

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is a personal friend of the union attorney, Russell J. Reid. Both Reid and Clements have been employed by Local 302 for at least 30-years and are friends of the incumbents.

 

9. Hanson alleges and has evidence to prove that the incumbents hired Chris Gianelli of Service Printing to render assistance in committing election fraud in favor of the incumbents. Dave Clements recommended the hiring of Gianelli, who also had a conflict of interest. Gianelli served as the printer for the official union newspaper during the 10-year period of the incumbent's administrations. Gianelli was also hired to print the incumbent's campaign literature during the same 10-year period.

 

10. Hanson submitted a timely complaint to the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) of the U.S. Department of Labor in Seattle, Washington. Hanson also submitted his documented evidence to OLMS. Chief investigator and OLMS Director John Heaney met privately with Hanson and examined the "smoking gun" evidence. Heaney encouraged Hanson by stating to him that an addendum to the initial report would be forwarded to Washington, DC. Heaney also met with and interviewed other witnesses, including Hanson's attorney, Hanson's election observers and the King County Election Division (KCED) superintendent, who was responsible for renting out the electronic vote counting machines for the Local 302 election.

 

11. The manufacturer of the electronic vote counting machine, Accu-Vote, stated that the manner in which Dave Clements

 

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operated the machine when using tampered ballots was inconsistent with the design parameters required for obtaining accurate vote counts. An Accu-Vote engineer from Texas stated that such use employed by Clements was highly suspect and should have caused the election to be invalidated.

 

12. Documents provided by the U.S. Department of Labor under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) undisputedly show contradictory statements given by Chris Gianelli and the KCED superintendent as to the preparation of ballots to be used in the 1999 union election. Chris Gianelli was in a direct conflict of interest with the union and had a reason to submit false testimony to federal investigators. The KCED superintendent had no known conflict of interest and therefore no reason to provide false testimony. When the contradictory statements were shown to federal investigators at the U.S. Department of Labor, the OLMS Director recommended that plaintiff Hanson sue the Secretary.

 

13. OLMS federal investigator Donald Logsdon examined Hanson's evidence and stated in his own words, "that's a damn good bit of investigation you guys conducted."

 

14. Plaintiff Edgar Hanson alleges and has evidence to prove that the Secretary's decision to not sue Local 302 to void the 1999 election was made arbitrarily and capriciously. The election results showed that only 168 votes separated incumbent Wilson from challeger Hanson, the closest election margin in the union's history. The ballot tampering and election

 

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fraud committed by the incumbents, Dave Clements, and Chris Gianelli affected the outcome of the election.

 

15. Local 302 incumbents violated the LMRDA and the union bylaws by admitting to the destruction of portions of tampered ballots from the 1999 election.

 

16. During the tabulation of votes in August 1999, plaintiff Hanson and his observers objected to the tampering of ballots, a fact that Election Chairman Donald Webb disputes. Webb was employed by the incumbents at the time of his position on the Election Committee.

 

17. Hanson objected to the use of the union headquarters in Bothell, Washington as the location for the ballot tallies. The union headquaters is a new multi-million dollar facility recently constructed by the incumbents. The challengers and the rank-and-file are severely restricted by the incumbents to access their own union hall.

 

18. The union publication "Loadline" was abused by the incumbents as a campaign device to provide excess publicity through print and photographs of the incumbents. The Secretary stated that the "Loadline" was non-promotional in nature, but a reasonable person would plainly see that the "Loadline" is purely promotional and costs the membership a huge financial sum.

 

19. Patterns of fraud and perjury have been committed by union officers Allan Darr and Barry Riedesel, who lied under oath in their depositions in the Albert lawsuit about

 

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their knowledge of union activities. Darr, the former editor of the "Loadline" and a former Trustee was selected on January 5, 2001 by a committe of five members from the Executive Board (including Barry Riedesel) to serve as the "unelected" new business manager. Riedesel, the 1996 Election Chairman who held the positions of business agent, Trustee of the $2.5 billion Retirement Fund, and "unelected" Vice President, won his first election of V.P. by a margin of 60 votes in 1999. Riedesel is also the current editor of the "Loadline."

 

20. Clyde Wilson retired as business manager on January 1, 2001 (after serving only 16-months of a 36-month term) because he knew that his election was illegitimate and that evidence was mounting aginst him. Wilson retired in the same manner as the previous business manager, Larry Johnson, (who retired in 1997 after serving only 8-months of a 36-month term), and Jack Jacubiec who retired after serving only 4-months as the newly elected Financial-Recording-Corresponding Secretary. Wilson, Johnson, Jacubiec and Riedesel are named defendants in the Albert suit currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

21. A conspiracy exists at Local 302 to prevent union democracy and the will of the membership in free, fair and honest elections. The conspiracy consists of an oligarchy of incumbents including: Darr, Wilson, Riedesel, Johnson, Jacubiec, and the Local 302 union attorney, Russell J. Reid. Also under investigation for involvement is the son of a former

 

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business manager, who is now employed as an investment manager of the $2.5 billion Retirement Fund which belongs to the retired members of Local 302 and Local 612. The son was terminated as an office assistant in 1988 by Val Albert who had become the newly elected business manager. The union's attorney, Russell J. Reid, was also terminated from employment by Albert. After Albert's defeat in a fraudulent election in 1990, incoming business manager Larry Johnson promptly rehired Reid. Presently, Reid is Local 302's attorney, as well as attorney for the $2.5 billion Retirement Fund of Local 302 and 612. Albert suit defendants Johnson, Wilson and Jacubiec retired early after becoming exposed for their misdeeds and unlawful conduct. Without the legitimacy of an election, Darr was hastily placed in the business manager's seat in January 2001 because he was the remaining original conspirator and an un-named union defendant in the Albert suit. Darr has never been a line officer and has never been a bonafide candidate for business manager, Local 302's top position. Vice-president Barry Riedesel was passed over for business manager in preference of Darr, as it would have been otherwise far too obvious that Riedesel received the ultimate pay-off for his participation in election fraud in 1996 while serving as the election committee chairman. Riedesel would have been further exposed in the illegal plot designed by Russell J. Reid and the union conspirators to expel candidate Val Albert from membership in Local 302, without the due process requirements under LMRDA, only two

 

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months after the fraudulent 1996 election.

 

22. In spite of all of the evidence that plaintiff Hanson has acquired and presented to OLMS against Local 302 incumbent officers, Secretary Herman has rendered a decision not to file suit and void the l999 election. The Secretary's decision can only be viewed as arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.

 

IV. QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW BY THE COURT

 

23. The questions for review by the Court are based on a record from issues raised by the plaintiff through direct correspondence with the director of OLMS as well as the responses provided by the Secretary through her Statement of Reasons.

 

24. The plaintiff has a very real fear, and there is evidence to prove, that the manner, activities and conduct by the incumbent officers and their service providers affected the outcome of the 1999 election in favor of the incumbents. The plaintiff also fears that abuses have become so institutionalized in Local 302's election process that only the Court can properly remedy the problem and restore union democracy and honest elections.

 

25. The questions for the reviewing Court to consider include, but are not limited to the following:

 

a. Did the Secretary act arbitrarily and capriciously and abuse her discretion and act otherwise not in accordance with law when she decided not to file suit against

 

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Local 302 to void the 1999 election of officers?

 

b. Did the Secretary act arbitrarily and capriciously and abuse her discretion and act otherwise not in accordance with law when she concluded in her Statement of Reasons that there were no violations of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act by Local 302?

 

c. Did the Secretary act arbitrarily and capriciously and abuse her discretion and act otherwise not in accordance with law when the evidence presented by plaintiff Hanson clearly demonstrates election fraud, LMRDA violations, and constitution and bylaw violations by incumbent officers of Local 302?

 

d. Did the Secretary act arbitrarily and capriciously and abuse her discretion and act otherwise not in accordance with law when the Secretary's own "Report and Investigation" (obtained by the plaintiff under FOIA) clearly shows contradictory testimony presented to federal investigators by Chris Gianelli, the producer of union ballots, the union publication and the incumbent's campaign literature?

 

e. Did the Secretary act arbitrarily and capriciously and abuse her discretion and act otherwise not in accordance with law when her own OLMS Director in Seattle demonstrated amazement at plaintiff Hanson's "smoking gun" evidence, and when OLMS investigator Don Logsdon stated that the plaintiff's evidence was the result of a "damn good bit of investigation?"

 

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f. Did the Secretary act arbitrarily and capriciously and abuse her discretion and act otherwise not in accordance with law when she stated that she found no evidence that Dave Clement's dual position as Election Supervisor and union accountant produced a conflict of interest or undermined the integrity of the election?

 

g. Did the Secretary act arbitrarily and capriciously and abuse her discretion and act otherwise not inaccordance with law when she determined that the union member's newspaper "Loadline" was non-promotional in nature when an actual examination of the paper clearly demonstrates that the "Loadline" is a costly campaign tool used by editors Allan Darr and Barry Riedesel to benefit the incumbents in elections.

 

h. And finally, did the Secretary act arbitrarily and capriciously and abuse her discretion and act otherwise not in accordance with law when she dismissed Edgar Hanson's complaint?

 

V. PRAYER FOR RELIEF

 

Wheretofore, plaintiff Edgar Hanson prays that this Court accurately review the arbitrary and capricious decision made by U.S. Labor Secretary Alexis Herman to not bring suit against Local 302 to void the 1999 election of officers, and that this Court review all of the evidence presented by Hanson.

 

Furthermore, that this Court remand the Secretary's decision so that a truthful re-investigation of the facts will

 

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not be obstructed by the U.s. Department of Labor, the IUOE in Washington, DC, and Local 302 in Seattle to determine the involvement by incumbent officers (retired and active) in matters of election fraud at Local 302.

 

Moreover, that this Court order the U.S. Department of Labor, not inconsistent with the rare case exception provision in Dunlop v. Bachowski, 421 U.S. 560, to file a suit against Local 302 to void the 1999 election and cause a re-run in which plaintiff Hanson may participate as a candidate for business manager.

 

Additionally, the plaintiff prays that in the event of an election re-match, that the Court directs the U.S. Department of Labor to do the following:

 

a. Oversee and monitor the entire election process, which must not be inconsistent with the adequate safeguards requirement under Title IV of the Act.

 

b. Prohibit any representative of the accounting firm of Lockitch, Clements and Rice from serving as Election Supervisor in the new election due to the apparent conflict of interest and due to Dave Clement's participation in ballot tampering.

 

c. Prohibit Chris Gianelli of Service Printing to serve or contract in any manner in the new election due to an apparent conflict of interest and due to Gianelli's participation in election fraud and dishonest statements made to federal investigators.

 

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d. Allow selection of an Election Committee in which no committee member relies on an employment position associated with or granted by the incumbents.

 

e. Require that the actual tallying of secret ballots be conducted in a neutral location, not in the union hall, so as to eliminate intimidation tactics by incumbents.

 

f. Restrict the incumbent's publication of the union newspaper Loadline so that the incumbents may not be advantaged with excess publicity to the detriment of the challengers.

 

g. Require that the use of disclaimers and addresses be used on all campaign literature by all candidates so that contributions may more easily be sourced.

 

h. Acurately provide the true list of all eligible union voters to the challengers so that the challengers may communicate with the members on an equal basis.

 

Finally, Hanson prays that the Court grant the plaintiff costs for bringing this action as well as for unspecified damages for economic harm and emotional distress. In addition, the plaintiff requests compensatory damages.

 

DATED this 16 day of January, 2001.

 

S/Edgar Hanson

Edgar Hanson

 

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VERIFICATION STATE OF WASHINGTON         )

:ss                                

                                   

 COUNTY OF KING                          )

 

EDGAR HANSON, being duly sworn on oath deposes and states as follows:

 

I am the plaintiff in this action. I am over the age of eighteen years and I am competent to be a witnesses in the case. I have personal knowledge of the facts in this Complaint. I have reviewed the foregoing Complaint and the allegations contained therein are true.

 

FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NAUGHT.

 

DATED this 16 day of January, 2001.

 

S/ Edgar Hanson

Edgar Hanson

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to me this 16th day of January, 2001.

 

S/Michelle R James

NOTARY PUBLIC in and for the State

of Washington, residing at:

 

Federal Way

 

My commission expires: 7-27-2004

 

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