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TomClash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 01:46 PM
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The mob and Harold Ickes
Those familiar with Ickes' work with Local 100, however, found Shannon Little's terse and tepid statement unsatisfactory. Even though Ickes may not have been in bed with a mobbed-up union a la John Gotti's lawyer Bruce Cutler, it's hard to believe his claims that he didn't know about the union's mafia associations and equally hard to understand why he continued to represent it. According to Michael Maroney, a former senior investigator for the Department of Labor, Ickes was present during an official government interview in 1985 when Anthony "Chickie" Amodeo, the union's president before being forced to step down under the terms of a 1992 federal consent decree, admitted that he had known Castellano, then head of the Gambino crime family, for more than 40 years. Later, Ickes was informed by investigators that his client was electronically recorded talking to Castellano as part of a federal probe into organized crime activities. "He certainly knew that the union was controlled by organized crime," says Maroney.

Another wake-up call could have come in 1986, during the successful racketeering trial of union vice president John DeRoss, who was identified publicly throughout the trial as a captain in the Gambino family. In court testimony widely covered in the press at that time, DeRoss and Castellano were caught on tape having a discussion over drinkds at a Manhattan steakhouse that presiding Judge John Keenan characterized as involving "the splitting of payoffs and respective jurisdiction over certain unions and payoffs."

But instead of advising the union that DeRoss should be suspended pending the outcome of the indictment, Ickes urged that DeRoss be removed from his union post only after DeRoss was convicted. This, Ickes' critics claim, demonstrated a "see no evil" mentality at odds with the code of ethics embraced by the AFL-CIO. "Ickes should have advised the executive board that they had a duty to investigate public allegations that John DeRoss was a mafia capo, that there were associations with organized crime," says one labor attorney. "As elected union officials they have an obligation to investigate and remove people who are corrupt and inimical to the labor movement. If there was an article in the paper saying DeRoss was a capo, they should have investigated him. They should have done all this before, not after."


But there is, of course, absolutely nothing in the canons of legal ethics that requires an attorney to represent a crooked labor union. And judging from his performance with cases he handled on behalf of individual members of Local 100, it seems unlikely that Ickes was in it to help the rank and file. As their counsel, Ickes was supposed to take on discrimination and wrongful dismissal cases, pushing those with the most merit before the National Labor Relations Board. According to most attorneys and arbitrators who came up against him in his work before the NLRB, Ickes was a tenacious advocate with such an effective command of the law that opposing attorneys often wilted.

Nevertheless, there were a number of grievance cases Ickes decided not to pursue. Some of them involved the same restaurants that prosecutors have said paid off Local 100 so management could ignore collective bargaining agreements in the union contract, essentially purchasing union inaction at the expense of workers rights. According to David Wright, a New York labor lawyer who has opposed Ickes and restaurant management in court on behalf of these workers, Ickes was "the worst enemy of hundreds of restaurant workers in New York."
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:29 PM
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1. The son of the GREAT Harold Ickes (FDR's subordinate) involved in the MOB???

That's sad...
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TomClash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:55 PM
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2. Agreed nt
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