The city’s largest construction union has hit a snag in its journey to independence.
David Pié, inspector general of the New York City District Council of Carpenters, resigned earlier this month. His departure is a “setback” for the union, according to a report issued by the union’s independent monitor, as it works to eventually shed the need for outside supervision.
The union created the inspector general’s office a few years ago as part of its efforts to eventually operate without a monitor. The monitor, appointed as part of court supervision that began in the 1990s to help root out organized crime and corruption in the union, has gradually shifted responsibilities to the inspector general’s office.
“While the [Office of Inspector General] — like the District Council — has made tremendous strides, the departure of the current Inspector General is definitely a setback and will require the [Independent Monitor] team to be more active in investigations in the near term,” Glen McGorty, the union’s monitor, wrote in a report filed in federal court this week. “Our first order of business will be to help identify a suitable replacement. Once a new Inspector General is in place, I believe that the district council will continue to benefit from the support of and collaboration with my office.”
McGorty notes that the union will also work to address “lingering distrust” of the inspector general’s office, which predated Pié.
The report states that Pié left after finding employment closer to where he lives. When reached by phone, Pié said his reason for leaving was personal and declined to discuss the issue. He said the inspector general’s office is “well on its way to accomplishing its mission.”
His departure follows other recent leadership shakeups at the union. The district council elected a new president, Paul Capurso, in February, following the resignation of two presidents amid allegations of misconduct. It appears that the union could also have a new monitor next year. In his report, McGorty notes that he considered leaving, but has agreed to stay at least through the end of the year and will consider extending his term “unless the needs of the union would be better served by a new monitor.”
The carpenter’s union has been under court supervision since 1994, a product of a federal racketeering case. The district council, which is made up of nine local unions, counted nearly 20,000 members as of September. Last year, leaders of two locals, 157 and 926, were arrested on conspiracy and fraud charges. The district council’s parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, took over Local 926 and voted in October to extend its supervision, until the local shows it can “function effectively,” according to McGorty’s report. The monitor also notes that the district council is considering new compliance rules in light of the criminal case against the locals.
Write to Kathryn Brenzel at [email protected]