Feds Charge Hoffa's Benefactor with Embezzling Union Funds for Campaign Hoffa's top aide identified as bagman who shredded documents as feds investigated.


from IGC.ORG/TDU, the website of Teamsters for a Democratic Union

Site Last Modified: June 15, 2000

TDU today learned that the top Teamster official in Michigan, who in the mid-1990s gave Hoffa an "administrative assistant" position to provide him the eligibility he needed to run for Teamster president, has been charged by the Teamsters' federal oversight body with diverting union funds for campaign purposes.

Even more startling, Hoffa's Executive Assistant – the most powerful appointee in the entire union – is identified in the charges as the bagman in the scheme, and the one who shredded records when it became clear that law enforcement agents were investigating.

The Independent Review Board (IRB) on June 2 recommended that Hoffa file charges against Detroit Teamster boss Larry Brennan; the charges became public today. Five other officers of Detroit Local 337 were also included in the IRB charges.

The six are accused of scheming to divert some $30,000 in Teamster dues money to their own reelection campaign in Local 337, when they faced an election challenge in late 1996 from rank and file members aligned with TDU, the Teamster reform movement.

Brennan and his fellow officials schemed to illegally provide inflated bonuses and temporary raises to 15 officials of the local. The secretary-treasurer of the local cashed all of the bonus checks and gave the cash to Carlow Scalf who distributed the cash and recollected it as campaign contributions.

Because Scalf kept that $30,000, along with an estimated additional $15,000 collected earlier, in cash, and later shredded any records he kept, it is not known if a portion of this money found its way into Hoffa's own campaign for Teamster president.

"Incredibly, the bag man in this sordid scheme to take dues money and use it to buy an election is now the highest appointed person in the Teamsters Union," stated TDU Organizer Ken Paff. Scalf is the Executive Assistant to General President James Hoffa in Washington.

The IRB charges, which are detailed in 42 pages and cite 69 exhibits, note that Scalf played a pivotal role in the scheme; that he shredded any records of his operation in June 1997, after the feds interviewed a principal in the scheme; that he kept all the money in cash; and that his bogus explanations for these actions lack credibility and indicate that Scalf "knew that these records would reveal something improper." (pages 11 and 14-15 of IRB charges).

TDU calls on Hoffa to take immediate action to:

Remove Carlow Scalf from his powerful post in the union. Immediately take action to remove his Detroit associates from their Teamster positions.

Brennan currently holds three powerful Teamster posts and draws three salaries from members' dues. He is the president of Detroit Local 337, President of the Michigan Teamster Joint Council, and Hoffa's Central Region Warehouse Director.

The tainted election results have already stood for over three years; any further delay is intolerable. The case against Brennan et. al. should be immediately referred to the IRB, without the stalling tactics that Hoffa has used when other cronies have been charged.

Publicize these charges in the same manner and extent that Hoffa has publicized charges against his political opponents.

Hoffa has claimed that he will establish "ethics" in the Teamsters Union and has hired consultants to bolster that claim. "We will see now if Hoffa has the will and ability to act against his key supporters when they're caught betraying the members of the union," said Paff.

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