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Latest News - December 2014

December 1, 2014
Teamster accuses local of rigging election
Source: NEW YORK POST
By:
Michael Gartland

The nation’s biggest Teamsters local rigged its October election for president, a challenger in the race for the top spot charges.

Jakwan Rivers — who lost by about 1,100 votes to incumbent Gregory Floyd — said Local 237 made sure more than 5,000 ballots were ignored by deliberately not paying the bill for its post-office box.

Rivers filed a protest with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the umbrella group for the 24,000-member local, which represents school safety officers, cops who patrol city-owned hospitals and other public employees.

“It’s intentional,” he said of the local’s failure to count the ballots. “They’re not admitting to anything. The only thing they said is they believe the ballots came in late.”

Rivers claims Floyd’s failure to pay the bill meant the ballots were never put in the union’s box and are gathering dust at the post office.

Floyd countered that all the PO-box bills were paid, and described Rivers as nothing more than a “shakedown artist’’ who once ran a workers’ compensation scam. Rivers said that charge is bogus.

Floyd noted Rivers lost his driver’s license after being busted in 2012 for DUI. Rivers copped to the charge, insisting he was on sleep medication. He paid a $300 fine.

“He’s got no case. There are not 5,000 uncounted ballots,’’ Floyd said, claiming the number is actually only about 400.

And Floyd said it wouldn’t matter even if all those votes were for Rivers, because the winning margin was 1,000-plus.

Local 237 pays its leaders handsomely — with Floyd raking in $228,000 a year. Elections tend to be close and hard-fought.

This is not the first dispute over uncounted ballots, Rivers claims. In the union’s previous presidential election, in 2009, he lost by just 287 votes.

“There were more than 480 ballots left in the post office last time,” he said.

“The uncounted ballots are very suspicious,” said Howard Wien, the lawyer who represents Rivers and his supporters. “But that’s just one of many issues. Union officers were campaigning on union time — that’s a direct violation of union rules and the bylaws.”

Floyd responded, “It’s just one outlandish lie after another.”

 

 


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