No Resolution In Ouster Of Philadelphia Teamsters Leader
January 7, 2000
Three days of hearings last week did not result in a decision on whether Philadelphia controversial Teamsters Local 115 leader John Morris would remain in control of the local he founded more than 30 years ago.
The Teamsters union issued an emergency order in November that removed Morris as secretary-treasurer, alleging he used union money to stockpile weapons and used fear and intimidation to ensure member loyalty.
Morris sued, and a judge agreed that there was not a clear emergency justifying Morris' removal without a hearing. The day he was due to be reinstated, that reinstatement was put on hold until the scheduled hearing.
The hearing began last Wednesday under heavy guard at a neutral site in Collingswood, NJ. A panel of three Teamsters officials so far has heard testimony from only two witnesses. Union trustee Edward Keyser Jr., who is presenting the case for Morris' removal, says Morris is stalling, according to the Associated Press.
Keyser says he plans to call at least nine more witnesses and a team of auditors when the hearing resumes. A date for the continuation of the hearing has not been set.
Morris says his ouster is political, because he has been an outspoken opponent of Teamsters President James P. Hoffa.