2017 EAM 43 (Re: ESD 378)
ELECTION APPEALS MASTER
IN RE: WILLIAM LOBGER,
TEAMSTERS UNITED, and
TEAMSTERS for a
2015-2016 EAM 43 (KAR)
ORDER RE ESD 378
Protest Decision 2017 ESD 378 (ESD 378) was issued on February 10, 2017. ESD 378 decided and denied pre- and post-election protests P-410, P-411, P-412, P-419, and P-420.
The five pre- and post-election protests consolidated for decision in ESD 378 urged the Election Supervisor to rerun the International officers election, based upon alleged violations of the Rules by the IBT, James P. Hoffa, IBT General President, Ken Hall, IBT General Secretary-Treasurer (both candidates for re-election to their positions on the Hoffa-Hall 2016 slate), the Hoffa-Hall 2016 slate, and IBT attorney Viet Dinh, Esq. First, they asserted the IBT impermissibly and indefinitely postponed the trial on IRB charges against IBT vice president at-large and candidate Rome Aloise. Second, they asserted that the IBT and Mr. Hall failed timely to produce volumes of records that the Independent Investigations Officer (“IIO”) had directed the IBT to produce in connection with an investigation of IBT corruption, and that the IBT impermissibly used IBT funds to mount a legal challenge to the IIO’s requests, with the “purpose, object, or foreseeable effect” of influencing the election in favor of the Hoffa-Hall campaign.
The protests specifically alleged that the deliberate delay and obstruction of corruption investigations denied Teamsters members the right to “fair, honest, open, and informed elections,” in violation of Articles I and XII of the Rules. Certain protests also alleged that the delays interfered with the right to vote as guaranteed by Article IV, Section 12 of the Rules. The protests further alleged that the IBT’s contribution of resources, including retained legal services, to prevent or delay compliance with the subpoenas issued by the IIO until after the IBT Officers’ Election violated Article XI, Section 1(b)(3) and Article XII of the Rules, that the legal services constituted impermissible employer contributions to the Hoffa slate in violation of Article XI, Section 1(b)(2) and Article XII, and that the failure to report union contributions and employer support violated Article XI, Sections 2(a)(1) and 2(a)(2) .
Decision of the Election Supervisor
The Election Supervisor rejected the protests, based solely upon an analysis of the alleged violations of Articles I and XII, and Article IV. The Election Supervisor did not address the alleged violations of Article XI.
Appeal of ESD 378
On February 24, 2017, all of the protestors filed appeals of ESD 378, focusing in particular on the Election Supervisor’s failure to investigate and consider alleged violations of Article XI.
Hearing on Appeals
By Notice of Hearing sent to all identified Interested Parties, a telephonic hearing was scheduled for February 28, 2017. On February 24, the Election Supervisor submitted a written response to the appeals (which did not address alleged violations of Article XI). Also on February 24, the Election Appeals Master received pre-hearing submissions from Mr. Sylvester, the Hoffa Campaign, IBT, and Mr. .Halstead and the TDU.
A telephonic hearing on the appeal was held on February 28, 2017, which was attended by Richard Mark, Esq., Election Supervisor, Jeffrey J. Ellison, Esq., on behalf of the Election Supervisor, Paul Dever (OES), Julian Gonzalez, Esq., on behalf of Mr. Lobger and Teamsters United, David J. Hoffa, Esq., on behalf of the Hoffa Campaign, Bradley T. Raymond, Esq., on behalf of the IBT, Barbara Harvey, Esq., on behalf of Mr. Halstead and TDU, Catherine A. Highet, Esq., on behalf of Mr. Sylvester, Fred Zuckerman, and David Suetholz, Esq.
In addition, certain issues pertinent to the appeal of ESD 378 were addressed in submissions and argument in connection with the hearing on the appeal of ESD 383, which was held on March 3, 2017. The appeal of ESD 383 was withdrawn following the March 3 hearing with the understanding that the Election Appeals Master may consider arguments and submissions related to ESD 383 with respect to related appeals, including the appeals of ESD 378. 2015-2016 EAM 41 (ESD 383). Finally, on March 13, the Election Appeals Master received a supplemental submission from Mr. Sylvester, to which the Election Supervisor has not had an opportunity to respond.
Order of the Election Appeals Master
As noted above, the alleged violation of Article XI is not addressed in ESD 378, or the Election Supervisor’s submission in opposition to the appeals. This allegation was, however, addressed orally by the Election Supervisor and by the IBT in the hearing on the appeal of ESD 378, and in the hearing on the appeal of ESD 383. At those hearings, a number of factual representations and arguments were made to the Election Appeals Master regarding the asserted institutional interest of the IBT in resisting or limiting document production to the IIO that are not part of the investigative or written appellate record. The Election Appeals Master therefore concludes that the most prudent course is to remand these protests for appropriate investigation, consideration and decision by the Election Supervisor with respect to alleged violations of Article XI, with particular focus on the asserted institutional interest of the IBT in expending resources to resist or limit production of documents to the IIO.
For the reasons set forth above, the protests are remanded with respect to allegations of violations of Article XI for appropriate investigation, consideration and decision by the Election Supervisor.
KATHLEEN A. ROBERTS
ELECTION APPEALS MASTER
DATED: March 28, 2017