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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters











     2021 EAM 21

    ISSUED: October 14, 2021


     OES CASE NO. P-168-083121-FW


            Protest Decision 2021 ESD 148, which addresses a pre-election protest filed by the Teamster Power slate, was issued on September 28, 2021 (OES Case No. P-168-803121-FW) by the Election Supervisor.  The protest alleged that Marty Frates, Principal Officer of Local Union 70, conveyed an impermissible endorsement by the local union of Sean O’Brien and the O’Brien-Zuckerman 2021 slate in violation of the Rules for the 2020-2021 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (the “Rules)”. 

On September 28th, the Election Supervisor granted the protest and found that Mr. Frates violated the Rules by using union resources to endorse the O’Brien-Zuckerman 2021 slate.  On September 30, 2021, Mr. Frates appealed the decision.  On October 3, 2021, by Notice of Hearing, the Election Appeals Master scheduled a telephonic hearing for October 6, 2021.  On October 5, 2021 the Office of Election Supervisor and Mr. Frates submitted supplemental arguments in support of their respective positions.

A telephonic hearing was held on October 6, 2021.  The following individuals attended the hearing:  Jeffrey J. Ellison, Esq., and Deborah Schaaf, on behalf of the Office of the Election Supervisor; Marty Frates on behalf of himself; and Jeremy Brake, a member of Local Union 439.



            In August 2021, Marty Frates, the Secretary-Treasurer of Local Union 70, issued a letter criticizing trustees responsible for overseeing Teamster-related pension plans for allegedly refusing to “make the necessary cuts for the plans to survive.”  His letter included an endorsement of the O’Brien-Zuckerman 2021 slate that read, “That’s why Local 70 supports Sean O’Brien and his slate for General President.”  He concluded the letter with the signature “Marty Frates, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 70.”  The letter was then disseminated by other Teamsters to approximately 10,000 members on various social media platforms. 

The Election Supervisor found that Mr. Frates violated the Rules by using union resources to endorse and assist a campaign.  See Article VII, Section 12(c) and Article XI, Section 1(b)(3).  In reaching this determination, the Election Supervisor interviewed Mr. Frates and other members who were involved in disseminating the letter and also reviewed social media sites where the letter was posted. 

It was determined that Mr. Frates was uncooperative during the Election Supervisor’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the letter.  He was evasive and refused to answer questions from investigators.  He also provided inconsistent and misleading responses to questions that were controverted by the evidence.  The Election Supervisor concluded that Mr. Frates demonstrated a general lack of credibility when responding to investigators and, accordingly, failed to cooperate with investigators in violation of Article XIII, Section 2(g) of the Rules.

The Election Supervisor issued a number of remedies in this matter based on Mr. Frates’ conduct.  Among other things, Mr. Frates was ordered to cease and desist from using union resources to endorse a candidate, issue a notice that Local 70 was not backing any candidate in the election, and remit a sum of $2,500 from his personal funds to the Office of the Election Supervisor.

Mr. Frates’ Appeal

Mr. Frates does not dispute that he violated the Rules by using union resources to improperly endorse the O’Brien-Zuckerman 2021 slate.  On appeal, Mr. Frates contends that the portion of the remedy ordering him to pay $2,500 to the Election Supervisor is punitive and excessive and requests that the amount be modified or lowered. 

Decision of the Election Appeals Master

It is well settled that if the “Election Supervisor determines that the Rules have been violated…the Election Supervisor may take whatever remedial action is appropriate.”  Article XIII, Section 4.  Further, the Election Supervisor’s “discretion in fashioning an appropriate remedy is broad and entitled to deference.”  Hailstone & Martinez, 10 EAM 7 (September 14, 2010).  Here, the Election Supervisor determined that a financial penalty was warranted because Mr. Frates is a repeat offender of the Election Rules and, as described above, woefully failed to cooperate with investigators in this matter.

 In the 2015-2016 election cycle, Mr. Frates issued a letter on Local 70 letterhead describing the financial condition of Teamster pension plans while also announcing his candidacy as a delegate in the IBT Officers election.  See Teamsters United, 2015 ESD 46 (October 20, 2015).  Just like the current matter, the Election Supervisor found that Mr. Frates’ used union resources to support his candidacy and fined him $1000 for violating the Rules.  Id

Based on the circumstances here, I find that ordering a fine of $2,500 was well within the Election Supervisor’s broad remedial authority.  See O’Brien-Zuckerman, 2020 ESD 14 (August 25, 2020), affirmed 2020 EAM 3 (September 4, 2020).  I also find that the payment is remedial in nature and is designed to deter further violations.  Ordering the payment achieves these goals and serves to ensure that, in the future, Mr. Frates – and other members – will comply with the Rules and cooperate with the Elections Supervisor in investigating misconduct. 

Accordingly, Mr. Frates’ appeal to modify the remedy is DENIED.



Hon. Barbara S. Jones (Ret.)

Election Appeals Master


DATED:         October 14, 2021



Bradley T. Raymond, General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters


Edward Gleason


Patrick Szymanski


Will Bloom


Tom Geoghegan


Rob Colone


Barbara Harvey


Kevin Moore


F.C. “Chris” Silvera


Fred Zuckerman


Ken Paff

Teamsters for a Democratic Union


Scott Jenkins


Marty Frates

Teamsters Local Union 70


Jeremy Brake


Deborah Schaaf


Jeffrey Ellison