Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ex-Teamsters boss gets 6 1/2 years in federal prison

From the Houston Chronicle:

A federal judge today ordered that Chuck Crawley spend six and a half years in federal prison for his schemes to control Houston's largest Teamsters union and enrich himself.

The former Local 988 president was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon.

Crawley, 57, was convicted in December of arranging a $20,000 kickback from a vendor and rigging the local's 2002 election.

More here.

The article goes on to observe that prosecutors estimated that he managed to squeeze over a million in dirty money.

As if the labor movement needed any help looking bad. I mean, of course, the Teamsters have a long history of corruption and mob involvement going back decades, so bad in fact, that some years ago the feds had to make themselves involved in their elections just to make sure they weren't being tampered with. I had hoped they were above this sort of thing these days. Damn. Working people in this country really need a resurgence of union power, especially now: old style union corruption only hurts the cause.

Beyond labor reputation, this is just lame. In some ways Crawley is much worse than the worst of the corporate scumbags who suck employees' blood for breakfast. At least we know what capitalists are all about. Crawley, however, was entrusted with leading an organization that's supposed to fight such vampirism. What a fucking dick.