Carpenters Union Officials Indicted For Receiving Bribes And Grand Larceny

Attorney General Spitzer and US Department of Labor Regional Inspector General John McGlynn today announced the indictment of three men accused of taking bribes from a contractor so that the contractor could use non-union workers to perform work at two Manhattan job sites. The indictment also alleges the defendants' conduct deprived the union's benefit funds of more than $1 million, which was to be paid by the contractor.

Charged today in an 11-count indictment was Stephen Goworek, 34, of 2331 Bruner Avenue in the Bronx. Among the charges are Grand Larceny in the First and Second Degrees, four counts of Bribe Receiving by a Labor Official and five counts of Violating a Fiduciary Duty to the union. Up until his arrest, Goworek, was the Manager of the Stamps Enforcement Unit of the Benefit Funds of the District Council of New York and Vicinity, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, AFL-CIO. As the Stamps Enforcement Manager, Goworek was responsible for ensuring that contractors remitted to the Benefit Funds the payments required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement on behalf of union members employed by contractors.

Also charged was John Mingione, 32, of 2 Radcliffe Road, Staten Island, and a third defendant, Thomas Riccardo, 41, of 166 Oakdale Street, of Staten Island. Mingione was a shop steward for the Carpenters Union, while Riccardo was actually on the payroll at one of construction sites. Both men are alleged to have acted in concert with Goworek in the bribery and grand larceny scheme. All three defendants were arraigned in Manhattan Supreme Court. Each faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count of Grand Larceny in the First Degree.

"My office will continue to work with the Inspector General to ensure that the labor laws are enforced, that workers receive the wages and benefits which they are entitled to, and that the integrity of the collective bargaining process is protected," Spitzer said

The indictment comes as a result of a nine-month investigation conducted by the Attorney General's Statewide Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) and the USDOL-IG that began in 1999. The investigation targeted remodeling projects at two Manhattan hotels-- the Warwick Hotel and the Carlton Hotel. A contractor working on those projects cooperated in the investigation, which included audio and video taping the defendants' demands for bribes, as well as the actual bribe payments. Some bribes were actually delivered to the defendants by an undercover police officer from OCTF.

The charges in the indictment are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The investigation was led by Assistant Deputy Attorney General Dennis Walsh of OCTF. The case is being handled for trial by Assistant Deputy Attorney General John C. Prather of the Criminal Division. Attorney General Spitzer recognized the contributions of William Casey, Chief Investigator for the Attorney General's Office, Mitch Lampert, Chief Investigator at OCTF and Investigators John Mitchell of OCTF and Marcus River of the USDOL-IG