Court-approved anti-corruption officials have charged Ken Hall with obstructing corruption investigations by hiding and destroying thousands of union documents and emails. How and why did Ken Hall obstruct corruption investigators?
The Independent Investigations Officer has issued a 42-page report on charges against Ken Hall that will likely result in his expulsion from the Teamsters Union.
Anti-corruption officers are investigating top Hoffa-Hall administration officials for embezzlement, illegal loans to Teamster staff, bid-rigging in benefit plans, illegal employer gifts, and other corruption.
The targets of the investigation include Hoffa, Hall, Hoffa’s assistant Willie Smith, running mate Rome Aloise, campaign operative Richard Leebove, Benefits Director John Slattery, and Political Director Nicole Brener-Schmitz.
For over six months, Hall and Hoffa’s legal team stonewalled the investigators to hide the corruption scandal from the members until after the International Union election.
Hall and IBT lawyers refused to turn over emails that were on IBT computers claiming they were they were “personal and highly sensitive.” (page 13)
Finally on July 20, IBT attorneys told investigators that “Hall would stop obstructing and comply fully” (page 4 of Report). Hall had been impeding the investigation as early as March.
But the obstruction continued—and it was no accident. Hoffa and Hall had their eye on the election calendar.
Emails requested by subpoena “mysteriously disappeared from the IBT email system,” according to the report. (pages 34-37). Others were withheld.
What corruption was so damaging that Hall was willing to risk his own expulsion from the union rather than turn over evidence to investigators? Corruption that goes straight to the top.
The Independent Investigations Officers notes that, “The obstruction occurred when Hall and his agents knew that the Independent Investigation Officer was investigating the conduct of certain high-ranking officers, fund trustees and union employees, including Hall himself.” (pages 6-7)
For example, Hall withheld an email with the subject line, “Charlie Bertucio payout.”
Bertucio is being investigated for giving gifts and payoffs to Hoffa administration officials who rigged the bidding process for a huge health insurance contract in Bertucio’s favor.
Bertucio took Hoffa, Smith, Leebove and others on golf trips to Europe and various resorts—and even hired Hoffa’s son. No wonder Hall didn’t want to turn over that email!
Emails between IBT officials and Hoffa-Hall campaign operatives Todd Thompson and Christine Bailey were also withheld from investigators.
So were emails related to the investigation of Political Director Nicole Brener-Schmitz who is under investigation for illegally taking union funds. The charges note Hall’s “unusual tolerance” for Brener-Schmitz’s repeated embezzlement and violations of IBT policies.
Members Can Take Down Corruption
For over six months, Ken Hall lied and stonewalled investigators to hide the corruption scandal until after the International Union election.
But Teamster members still have time to vote against corruption.
Mail your ballot by November 9 to get it there by November 14. Call 844-428-8683 if you need a new ballot.
Vote Fred Zuckerman Teamsters United slate.