Former Plumbers Union Officials Fined, Expelled By Independent Hearing Panel
Martin J. Maddaloni, the former president of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters, and Thomas H. Patchell, formerly secretary-treasurer of the 325,000-member union, were fined $700,000 and $500,000, respectively, and expelled from the union under a May 24 decision from a special independent hearing panel convened by the union's general executive board.
The hearing panel concluded that the two former officers committed “serious violations of the UA constitution in connection with numerous transactions, demonstrating a pattern and course of conduct that breached their obligations to the UA and its members,” according to a summary of the panel decision obtained by BNA.
This conduct, “hidden from the GEB and the UA's members” resulted in the loss of “massive amounts of UA monies,” the panel summary said.
Following the resignations of Maddaloni and Patchell, William P. Hite and a new slate of top officers were elected to take over leadership of the union until the UA's convention in 2006 (50 CLR 1301, 12/15/04).
Neither Maddaloni nor Patchell appeared at the separate hearings held for them. Neither former official could be reached for comment.
The decision by the hearing panel was announced despite a settlement reached last year by the union's general executive board resulting in resignations by Maddaloni and Patchell. That settlement included payment by the union of their full salaries and benefits through the end of 2006 along with the use of automobiles purchased for them by the union. “In light of these resignations, the GEB now considers this matter closed,” the board said at the time (50 CLR 1219, 11/24/04).
While the two officers were “convicted of numerous charges in which they acted together,” the panel said a larger fine was levied against Maddaloni for two additional charges.
In one charge, according to the summary, the panel found that Maddaloni had guaranteed, “by pledging the UA treasury,” a $20 million loan to friends and acquaintances to purchase the Clarion Hotel in Hollywood, Fla. As stated in the summary, Maddaloni concealed the loan guarantee from the union's executive board and “repeatedly lied” to DOL when asked about the loan guarantee for the hotel. By engaging in such conduct, Maddaloni “committed a massive fraud on the UA and violated UA constitution section 513,” the panel was quoted in the summary.
In another charge filed against Maddaloni regarding his participation in a stock deal as a director of the Union Labor Life Insurance Co., the panel found that he personally profited at the expense of the UA and its members in violation of section 39 of the union's constitution.
In an April 5, 2005, report to UA members, Hite said lengthy meetings between union leaders and the U.S. Department of Labor have been held to discuss the status of various internal union issues. As a result of these meetings requested by DOL, Hite said, “I strongly believe that the DOL will not be taking steps to impose supervision over the UA.” According to Hite, DOL believes that with implementation of new internal procedures, “the UA is headed in the right direction.”
Hite added, however, that it has been made “abundantly clear” in these conversations that investigations of former union officers will be pursued by DOL and the Justice Department.