The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has taken control of its Englewood Cliffs, NJ, local, after accusing its leaders of defrauding the union out of $144,000.
Teamsters President James P. Hoffa placed Local 815 in trusteeship earlier this week. He removed President Larry Plotnick and Secretary-Treasurer Benjamin Camadeco.
Hoffa's actions are the result of a six-month investigation by the Independent Review Board, created in 1992 as part of a consent decree to investigate allegations of union corruption.
"An investigation of the local union has uncovered a systematic pattern of financial mismanagement by the officers of this local union," Hoffa said. The Independent Review Board concluded that Plotnick and Camadeco engaged in a long-running scheme to defraud the local into reimbursing them for questionable meal reimbursements. The Board also questioned lax financial controls, including Plotnick signing blank checks and the fact that Camadeco's $176,000 salary is paid from an account not subject to review by union trustees.
The Bergen Record contacted Plotnick and Camadeco, who denied the charges. Plotnick resigned from the $99,000-a-year job last week.
This is the fifth local in the nation to be placed in trusteeship since Hoffa became president in March.