Minority construction union leaders plead not guilty to corruption

New York /
Sep.September 27, 2011 12:14 PM

The leaders of a minority labor coalition pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of enterprise corruption and related grand larceny charges in connection with construction sites across Manhattan and the Bronx, the New York Times reported.

Thomas Mooney, an assistant Manhattan district attorney, said there was video evidence of violence and intimidation that he said was perpetrated by the two defendants, David Rodriguez, president of United Hispanic Construction Workers, and his chief lieutenant, Darryl Jennings.

“The whole enterprise, Your Honor, is based on the bottom line of physical extortion,” Mooney told Justice Lewis Stone in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Mooney said Jennings frequently drove around in vans with up to 50 coalition members, “engendering great fear at construction sites” with scare tactics that included the use of bats and other weapons.

As a result, contractors did not report the extortion to the police but instead gave coalition members construction jobs and frequently paid so-called no-show fees to Jennings to keep coalition members off their sites. Jennings collected weekly paychecks from 10 companies, Mooney said.

Murray Richman, the defendants’ lawyer, said that the labor organization had an extensive job-creation record over the last 25 years and defended members’ right to seek construction work. “If white guys do it, they call it a union,” Richman said. “If people of color do it, they call it a crime.”

The organization, which was indicted as well, first ran into legal troubles in 1993, when some of its members were among 31 indicted on extortion charges. Four of the coalition’s members were acquitted — including Rodriguez — and a fifth, who was acquitted on all but two counts.

Richman said coalition members, who surrounded him and applauded the defendants, were hardworking people who had been forced to become “self-defensive on occasion.”
[NYT]


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
Gordon Ramsey and his Lucky Cat restaurant (Lucky Cat)
Gordon Ramsay to open first South Florida restaurant in Miami Beach
Gordon Ramsay to open first South Florida restaurant in Miami Beach
(Image by Wolfgang & Hite via Dezeen)
Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys
Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys
Turner & Townsend CEO Vincent Clancy and CBRE CEO Bob Sulentic (Turner & Townsend, CBRE)
CBRE pays $1.3B for 60% stake in London-based project manager
CBRE pays $1.3B for 60% stake in London-based project manager
From left: 3761 and 3769 10th Avenue in Inwood, 16 Dupont Street and 427 West 52nd Street with Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, Google Maps)
City agencies grease the wheels of investment sales
City agencies grease the wheels of investment sales
The SASB market has produced several massive transactions, like a $4.65 billion loan for the Extended Stay America portfolio or SL Green Realty’s $3 billion refinancing of One Vanderbilt office tower in Manhattan (iStock, KPF, Getty)
CMBS loan issuance is booming — but not in the usual areas
CMBS loan issuance is booming — but not in the usual areas
CoStar Group CEO Andrew Florance (iStock)
CoStar Q2 net income down 17%
CoStar Q2 net income down 17%
214 West 109th Street and Isaac Chetrit (Google Maps)
Chetrits to invest $200M in Manhattan apartment portfolio
Chetrits to invest $200M in Manhattan apartment portfolio
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...