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Latest News - July 2010

July 17, 2010
Carpenters Union official John Greaney cuts a deal with feds and rolls over on ex-boss Michael Forde
By: Scott Shifrel

Former Carpenters union boss Michael Forde got hammered yesterday by his right-hand man, who copped a plea and said he shared bribes from contractors with him.

John Greaney, 50, is the seventh and highest-ranking union official to cut a deal with the feds since a raft of indictments in August.

The former president and business manager of United Brothers of Carpenters Local 608 admitted he sold out his members to line his own pockets.

He let contractors hire illegal immigrants, pay below-union wages and withhold payments into the union benefit fund - then lied to the feds.

And he said the once-powerful Forde and Local 608 business agent Brian Hayes - set for trial in September - were part of it all.

"I shared in the illegal cash payments I received from the contractors," he said in Manhattan Federal Court.

Greaney would face 155 years in prison on charges, but prosecutors will ask for leniency if he fully cooperates - and helps them nail Forde and Hayes.

Forde, 55, was boss of the District Council of Carpenters for 10 years until being charged with taking bribes from a man linked to the New Jersey-based DeCavalcante crime family.

He beat that rap in 2008, but was charged in a separate indictment in 2009.

"John Greaney's guilty plea unfortunately confirms that corruption has been deeply entrenched within the Carpenters Union," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

"In today's tough economic times, the jobs of tradesmen cannot be entrusted to leaders making back-door deals to line their own pockets."

With Alison Gendar



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