Laborers' International Union names general
president Terry O'Sullivan, 44, vice president of the Laborers'
International Union, which runs the Mid-Atlantic region, was chosen
by the union's board Sunday to become general president. The Mid
Atlantic region includes Pittsburgh.
O'Sullivan will replace Arthur A. Coia, who
is retiring after 40 years with the 800,000-member union.
Also promoted was Joseph Licastro to International
vice president and Mid-Atlantic regional manager. Licastro first
joined the union in 1963 in Johnstown.
The Associated Press reported that Coia will
step aside after running a gauntlet of investigations by federal
Coia, whose close support of President Clinton
while his union was under investigation drew Republican scrutiny,
was cleared in March by an independent hearing officer of charges
that he had ties to organized crime.
Coia was fined $100,000 for a separate ethics
violation under a process established via an agreement with the
Justice Department in 1995 to clean up the union, which allegedly
had long suffered from mafia influence.
That ethics violation - accepting a Ferrari
in a joint arrangement with a dealer who leased cars to the union
- had launched a new criminal investigation by federal officials
who said they were disappointed the union process had failed to
oust Coia from the union.
In the 1980s, President Reagan's Commission
on Organized Crime accused the Laborers of having mob ties. The
union signed the 1995 agreement with the Justice Department to
avoid racketeering charges.