Review  Officer  Address  to  the  Delegates,  October  18,  2012       Officers,  delegates  and  members,  as  many

 of  you  know,  

the  United  States  Attorney  has  proposed  that  my  tenure  as   Review  Officer  be  extended  by  18  months.    The  trustees  of  the   Benefit  Funds  have  agreed  to  the  government’s  proposal.    I   understand  that  the  proposition  will  be  put  to  you  tonight.     Most  of  you  also  know  that  in  the  absence  of  an  extension   agreement  between  the  District  Council  and  the  government,  I   will  be  filing  a  motion  with  the  Court  to  extend  my  tenure.      The   United  States  Attorney  will  be  doing  the  same.    In  the   government’s  view,  and  in  mine,  an  extension  is  necessary  to   insure  that  the  goals  of  the  Consent  Decree  and  the  Stipulation   and  Order  are  achieved.    The  District  Council  still  faces  grave   challenges  and  must  have  the  protection  provided  by  judicial   oversight  as  it  continues  to  strengthen  its  political  and   business  systems.      
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The  new  District  Council  has  restored  its  public  

reputation  and  no  doubt  has  the  well-­‐deserved  respect  of  the   industry.    One  of  the  clear  results  of  this  is  that  man-­‐hours   reported  to  the  Benefit  Funds  are  up.    My  office  projects  that   hours  for  2012  will  exceed  18.5  million.    Employers  are  not   cheating  you  because  they  dare  not  try.    However,  the  District   Council  is  still  a  fledgling.    When  fully  matured,  it  will  surely   soar  to  new  heights.    But  now,  it  still  faces  grave  dangers  from   external  forces  and  risks  from  within.  It  still  has  problems  to   solve.    There  is  much  at  stake,  even  the  very  future  of  the   Union.         I  will  of  course,  be  available  to  answer  any  questions  you   might  have  about  this,  but  I  do  intend  to  excuse  myself  from   the  room  while  you  deliberate.    Regardless  of  your  decision,  I   feel  that  it  is  important  that  I  share  the  following  thoughts  with   you.  

 

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    I  begin  by  telling  you  that  it  has  been  my  great  honor  to  

serve  you.    This  undertaking  has  been  more  important,  in  my   view,  than  any  previous  matter  upon  which  I  have  worked,   even  more  important  than  my  efforts  as  an  organized  crime   and  rackets  prosecutor  whose  work  sent  dozens  of  defendants   to  prison.       I  have  immersed  myself  in  this  cause.    I  have  shunted  my  

law  practice  to  dedicate  my  time  to  do  this  job  correctly,  for  it   is  imperative  that  this  Union  once  and  for  all  be  removed  from   the  control  and  influence  of  the  racketeers  and  grafters,  and   fully  achieve  its  noble  purpose.         Despite  the  problems  you  have  faced,  there  is  an  

indisputable  truth  about  this  Union:  yours  is  an  honorable   heritage  -­‐-­‐  born  of  wisdom,  courage  and  fraternity.    These  are  

 

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qualities  that  are  sorely  lacking  in  too  many  aspects  of  society   and  of  which  you  may  be  justly  proud.         The  hardworking  and  dedicated  members  of  this  Union  

deserve  a  rich  harvest  from  their  labor.  That  is  why  each  one  of   you  is  here,  why  you  chose  to  become  involved  in  union   governance.  You  all,  as  I  do,  believe  in  the  imperative  of   organized  labor  and  in  keeping  the  District  Council  in  the   forefront  of  the  labor  movement.           You  have  pledged  yourselves  to  protecting  the  rights  of  

members,  to  finding  good  work,  fighting  for  better  wages  and   benefits,  and  safer  working  conditions.    All  of  you  here  tonight,   more  than  any  other  members,  must  use  your  energy,  wisdom   and  vision  to  protect  this  Union,  to  make  it  more  vital  every   day,  and  insure  that  it  will  provide  for  the  needs  of  its   members  for  decades  to  come.    You  must  never  tire  in  this  

 

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struggle  and  you  must  gain  strength  through  your   achievements.       We  are  here,  after  all,  in  New  York  City,  where  labor  

racketeering  was  born  and  has  flourished  for  far  too  long;  New   York  is  of  course  the  home  of  the  “five  families,”  where  Cosa   Nostra  has  treated  this  and  other  unions  as  candy  stores  and   fiefdoms  and  pummeled  or  bribed  anyone  who  objected.    And   let  us  not  forget  the  common  cheaters.    Here  -­‐-­‐  in  The  Big  Apple   -­‐-­‐  the  boodlers  will  shake  your  hand  and  look  you  in  the  eye  -­‐-­‐   then  grab  every  one  of  your  dollars  that  hasn’t  been  locked  up   tightly.           For  decades,  the  minions  of  these  gangsters  and  grafters  

controlled  the  administration  and  governance  of  the  District   Council.    You  know  all  too  well  their  legacy  and  the   consequences  of  their  tenure:  millions  of  dollars  in  frauds  on  

 

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the  Benefit  Funds,  vile  cronyism  with  hacks  in  key  positions,   misappropriations,  indictments,  arrests,  and  RICO  cases.    The   membership  has  also  paid  an  incalculable  price,  evident  in  its   impact  on  so  many:  unemployment,  discrimination,  apathy  and   despair.       Over  the  years,  the  Union  has  been  subjected  to  all  

manner  of  well-­‐intentioned  oversight  through  the  Consent   Decree,  Job  Referral  Rules,  the  IRO,  IIs,  and  UBC  Supervision.     In  2010,  a  Stipulation  and  Order  was  agreed  upon  by  the   District  Council,  the  Benefit  Funds  and  the  United  States   Attorney  and  issued  by  the  District  Court.    I  was  appointed  by   the  Court  to  enforce  the  Consent  Decree  and  the  Stipulation   and  Order,  which  has  one  awesome,  but  simply  stated   objective:  to  “eradicate  corruption  and  racketeering  as  they   affect  Union  Carpenters  and  Union  employers.”      

 

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As  documented  in  my  four  reports  to  the  Court,  I  have  

endeavored  to  break  this  seemingly  endless  cycle  of  corruption   and  loss  by  employing  strict  and  novel  methods.    Fumigation   and  reconstruction  were  in  order.    Tough  love  and  zero   tolerance  were  in  order.    Old  methods  that  left  this  Union   vulnerable  to  attack  and  fraud  have  been  cast  aside.     Institutional  change  -­‐-­‐  with  new  rules,  new  functions  and   safeguards  -­‐-­‐  has  been  realized  and  codified.    Any  lesser  effort   would  have  been  doomed  to  failure.       I  did  not  take  on  this  task  seeking  to  make  enemies,  

though  doubtless,  I  have.    I  did  not  take  on  this  task  seeking  to   make  friends,  though  perhaps  I  have  made  a  few.    Above  all,  I   am  most  grateful  to  have  earned  the  respect  of  those  members   who  appreciate  what  I  have  tried  to  do,  and  know  that   extraordinary  problems  require  extraordinary  solutions.    To  

 

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those  of  you  who  have  told  me  so,  I  must  tell  you  how  much   that  has  meant  to  me,  and  I  thank  you.       I  recognize  and  applaud  the  progress  that  this  institution  

has  made  since  the  UBC  supervision  ended  in  January.    True   democracy,  for  the  first  time  ever,  has  finally  taken  hold  at  the   District  Council.    You  have  all  accepted  the  responsibility  to   govern  and  conduct  the  business  of  this  Council  according  to   the  highest  standards  of  ethics  and  morality.    Hard  lessons   have  already  been  learned.    Battles  are  being  fought  right  now   on  many  fronts    -­‐-­‐  in  the  field  and  in  the  courts  -­‐-­‐  and  the   officers  of  the  Council  surely  appreciate,  all  too  well,  both  the   heavy  burden  and  singular  rewards  of  leadership.    They  have   traveled  the  broad  gulf  between  the  theoretical  and  the  actual,   between  the  untested  notions  they  espoused  as  candidates  and   the  reality  of  problem  solving  as  fiduciaries.        

 

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The  field  of  engagement  has  been  leveled.    Traditional  

power  bases,  sources  of  what  some  might  call  “strength,”   whether  from  affiliation  with  gangsters  -­‐-­‐  or  built  through   years  of  tainted  political  patronage  -­‐-­‐  no  longer  exist.    The   hotline  to  the  wiseguys  has  been  disconnected.    The  new   leaders  at  the  District  Council  must  minister  to  their   constituents  by  acts  which  demonstrate  their  sound  judgment   and  integrity.    They  face  an  almost  impossible  challenge   without  your  support  and  counsel.           There  are  those  of  you  in  this  delegate  body  who  have  

heard  the  sound  of  the  horns  and  answered  the  urgent  call  to   duty,  who  know  that  you  must  rise  to  the  occasion  and  show  by   your  example  what  can  be  achieved  through  careful  thought   and  preparation  -­‐-­‐  and  through  collegial  debate  and   compromise.    The  members  you  represent  have  every  right  to   expect  that  all  of  you  do  so.    As  I  said  in  the  conclusion  of  my  

 

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last  report  to  the  court  “the  leaders  of  the  District  Council  must   always  listen  to  the  membership,  but  be  unafraid  to  tell  them   why  they  might  disagree  with  them;  they  must  be  teachers,   when  learning  is  required,  and  they  must  –  by  the  example  of   their  fortitude  and  good  conduct  –  earn  the  trust  they  will  need   in  order  to  succeed.”         Every  member  truly  does  know  how  to  find  the  road  to  a  

corruption-­‐free  District  Council.    Unfortunately,  it  has  been  the   road  less  traveled.    I  say  to  those  of  you  willing  to  tread  that   path  -­‐-­‐  do  not  doubt  that  you  will  be  protected,  strengthened   and  indeed  comforted  in  your  journey-­‐-­‐  for  that  road  is  lighted   by  the  rule  of  law.    If  you  have  pledged  to  uphold  the  honor  of   this  brotherhood,  the  light  of  the  law  will  guide  you  and  its   force  will  keep  you  safe.    

 

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I  have  strived  to  serve  the  members  by  insuring  their  

protection  through  the  rule  of  law.    Know  well  and  trust  that   the  law  stands  as  a  tireless  sentry,  always  guarding  against   those  who  would  invade  by  force  or  creep  in  by  stealth.    For   almost  two  and  a  half  years  I  have  done  my  utmost  to  shine  the   light  of  the  law  and  fortify  this  institution.    For  however  long  I   am  permitted  to  carry  that  torch,  I  will  surely  feel  privileged  to   do  so.    I  would  know  no  greater  disappointment  than  to  see  the   members  lose  their  way,  once  again  enveloped  by  the  darkness   of  corruption,  or  find  that  their  house  had  been  plundered  or   made  rotten  after  I  am  gone.       Surely  the  goal  of  everyone  is  an  autonomous  District  

Council,  governed  wisely  by  members  who  flourish  in  a  sound   democratic  system.    As  Emerson  said  “bolts  and  bars  are  not   the  best  of  our  institutions.”    That  which  will  serve  the   members  best  will  be  the  product  of  your  intellect  and  your  

 

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hard  work,  your  integrity  and  your  courage.      It  will  be  the   triumph  of  a  few  good  men  -­‐-­‐  and  women.           One  day,  as  John  Kennedy  said  in  his  famous  City  on  the  

Hill  speech,  the  high  court  of  history  will  sit  in  judgment  on   each  one  of  us  -­‐-­‐  and  will  record  whether  we  fulfilled  our   responsibilities  by  the  answers  to  four  questions,  which  I  adapt   only  slightly  and  pose  to  you  now:       First:  were  we  truly  men  of  courage  –  with  the  

courage  to  stand  up  to  one’s  enemies  –  and  the   courage  to  stand  up  when  necessary  to  one’s   associates,  the  courage  to  resist  public  pressure,  as   well  as  private  greed?       Secondly:  were  we  truly  men  of  judgment  –  

with  perceptive  judgment  of  the  future  as  well  as  the  

 

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past  –  of  our  own  mistakes  as  well  as  the  mistakes  of   others  –  with  enough  wisdom  to  know  that  we  did   not  know,  and  enough  candor  to  admit  it?       Third:  were  we  truly  men  of  integrity  –  men  

who  never  ran  out  on  either  the  principles  in  which   they  believed  or  the  people  who  believed  in  them  – men  whom  neither  financial  gain  nor  political   ambition  could  ever  divert  from  the  fulfillment  of   our  sacred  trust?        Finally:  were  we  truly  men  of  dedication  –  

with  an  honor  mortgaged  to  no  single  individual  or   group  and  compromised  by  no  private  obligation  or   aim,  but  devoted  solely  to  serving  the  membership?    

 

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I  ask  you  to  think  about  these  questions  -­‐-­‐  today  -­‐-­‐  and  on  

each  of  a  thousand  new  days  hereafter  in  which  you  serve  in   this  great  cause.       And  finally,  to  each  of  you,  I  say  thank  you,  good  night  and  

God  speed  to  this  honorable  and  proud  brotherhood.         *****  

 

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