by JAMES O. WELCH
PROVIDENCE--Members of the Laborers International
Union are being asked by a Roman Catholic monsignor to dig into
their pockets and donate money to help defray legal expenses for
the union's top management, federally indicted on labor racketeering
New England members of the 900,000 member
union have received a fund-raising letter, signed by a Catholic
monsignor, an unsuccessful candidate fro Rhode Island attorney
genera and a North Providence dentist.
Monsignor Galliano J. Cavallaro of Our Lady
of Mt. Carmel Church in Providence said he agreed "with the
thoughts of the letter. I'm not going to be pinned down to anyone
person, one cause, one statement or any words."
The letter also signed by Warwick lawyer
Charles J. Rogers Jr. and dentist Albert Picozzi, maintains that
Arthur E. Coia of Providence and Angelo Fosco of Chicago, two
top union officials, have been "the targets of a well-orchestrated
campaign b the federal government to repress individual rights."
The two men, along with reputed New England
crime boss Raymond L. S. Patriarca, were indicted in Miami and
charged with conspiracy to provide organized crime figures million
of dollars in kickbacks from union trust funds.
Patriarca was excused from extradition to
Miami for arraignment because of poor health:
Coia said the New England Laborers Defense
League, which sent the letter to union members, was established
at his suggestion last year. Coia also said he would take money
for his own defense from the fund if he has to.
Roger and Picozzi could not be reached for comment last night.