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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              June 14, 1999




Kenneth E. Hilbish

June 14, 1999

Page 1


Kenneth E. Hilbish, President

Teamsters Local Union 528

2540 Lakewood Avenue, SW

Atlanta, Georgia  30315


Doug Mims

1645 Brantford Drive

Tucker, GA  30084


Teamsters for a Democratic Union

7437 Michigan Avenue

Detroit, MI 48210


Aaron Belk

6502 Poplar Corner

Walls, MS  38680


Charlie Gardner Campaign Headquarters

3224 Highway 67 East, Suite 105

Mesquite, TX 75150

Paul Alan Levy, Esq.

Public Citizen Litigation Group

1600 20th Street NW

Washington, DC 20009


James L. Hicks Jr., P.C.

Suite 1100

2777 N. Stemmons Freeway



Patrick J. Szymanski,  General Counsel

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

25 Louisiana Avenue

Washington, DC  20001


Kenneth E. Hilbish

June 14, 1999

Page 1


Re:  Election Office Case No. SR-23-MG




Kenneth E. Hilbish, President of Local 528, filed a pre-election protest pursuant to Article XIV, Section 2(b) of the Rules for the 1995-1996 IBT International Union Delegate and Officer Election (“Rules”).  The protester alleges that Doug Mims, a candidate for Southern Region Vice President, stole official union files from Local 728 and used the Southern Region Office of the IBT for political purposes and to support Teamsters for a Democratic Union (“TDU”).  The protester requests that Mr. Mims be disqualified as a candidate as a remedy.


The protest was investigated by Regional Coordinator Maureen Geraghty.


Kenneth E. Hilbish

June 14, 1999

Page 1


The protestor bases his allegations on recent articles in TDU’s Convoy Dispatch, which contain information on the IBT Warehouse Director and the Frito Lay plant closing similar to information the protester found in files left by Mr. Mims in the IBT Southern Region office.  Mr. Mims’ tenure as Southern Region Vice-President and division director ended when the Hoffa Slate winners in the 1998 rerun election were sworn into office on March 22, 1999.  The protester also accuses Mr. Mims of maintaining personal files on various IBT candidates in the Southern Region office. 


The protestor has no evidence that Mr. Mims provided any office file materials to TDU.  His allegation is based solely on an inference he drew after examining the files and considering the content of the Convoy Dispatch.  The protestor examined all office files and records left in Mr. Mims’ former office, and submitted portions of those files to the Election Office for review.  The files contain information on issues that would be of ordinary interest to members of the IBT.  They do not appear to contain information relating to the operation of campaigns or the conduct of campaign activity. 


Mr. Mims denied removing any files from his former office and also denied providing any files to TDU or the Convoy Dispatch.  Mims admitted that he supplied TDU and other interested persons a copy of the Kroger contract negotiated by the protester, because he considered it to be a substandard contract and wanted to publicize the issue to the membership.  The completed contract is not confidential, however. 


As for the content of the files, Mr. Mims stated that he regularly received information from members, campaigns and candidates for IBT International office on various campaign issues.  He also received information from members concerning allegations of misconduct by local union and IBT officers.  Mr. Mims created files for the information he received, and left those files in the Southern Region office when he left his position in March 1999.  He also periodically received information from TDU on various contract and political issues and shared information with TDU concerning issues of interest to IBT members.


To the extent the files submitted to the Election Office contain anything election-related, they contain information on political and campaign events from the 1991 and 1996 election.  They contain nothing related to the 1999 Southern Region Rerun election. 


Ballots were tabulated in the Southern Region Rerun Election and the results were announced on June 11, 1999.  This protest must therefore be evaluated under the post-election standard.  See Rules Art. XIV, § 2(f)(2).


Regarding the substance of the alleged violation, Article VIII, § 11(a) of the Rules provides that all IBT members have a right to participate in campaign activities and to support political issues and candidates.  This permits IBT members and officers to engage in political campaigns, contract campaigns and public debates on issues relevant to the IBT and its members.  Nothing in the Rules prohibits officers from associating with TDU, or from communicating with TDU about issues of interest to the union’s membership.  See, e.g., Crawley, SR-26-EOH-NYC (May 28, 1999) (recognizing TDU’s right to distribute literature on issues of interest to IBT members).  The main restriction on member and officer activity appears in Article VIII, § 11(a), which provides that candidates and members may not campaign during working hours and may not use Union funds, facilities and or resources to promote the candidacy of any person.

Kenneth E. Hilbish

June 14, 1999

Page 1



There is no evidence that the existence of issue-related files in the Southern Region office constitutes a use of union resources to conduct campaign activity or to support a candidate during working hours.  There is also no evidence that Mr. Mims’ files constituted a use of union resources, facilities or funds to promote his own candidacy.  Mr. Mims was entitled to file information received from IBT members even if that information related to IBT politics.  As an IBT member, Mims was also permitted to share information with TDU.  Thus, there is no evidence that any Rules violation occurred.


In any event, Charlie Gardner, not Doug Mims, received the most votes in the Southern Region Rerun Election.  Even if Mr. Mims violated the Rules, there would be no basis for imposing any remedy under the post-election standard.  See Rules, Art. XIV, § 3(b). 


For the foregoing reasons, the protest is DENIED.


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election appeals master within one (1) day of receipt of this letter.  The parties are reminded that absent extraordinary circumstances, no party may rely on evidence that was not presented to the Office of the Election Officer in any such appeal.  Request for a hearing shall be made in writing and shall be served on:


Kenneth Conboy, Esq.

Latham & Watkins

885 Third Avenue, Suite 1000

New York, NY 10022

Fax (212) 751- 4864


Copies of the request for a hearing must be served on the parties listed above as well as upon the Election officer, 444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.  20001, Facsimile (202) 624-3525.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for a hearing.








Michael G. Cherkasky

Election Officer


cc:              Kenneth Conboy, Election Appeals Master

Maureen Geraghty, Regional Coordinator