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Teamsters Consider Future of Morris

March 7, 2000

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A panel considering whether to remove Teamsters Local Union 115 leader John Morris finished its hearings Friday, the union said.

The three-member panel will make a recommendation to Teamsters president James Hoffa within 60 days of receiving transcripts of the hearings, Don Owens, a spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said in a prepared statement. Hoffa will have 15 days to make a final decision after receiving the panel's recommendation.
The hearings began in January but were adjourned without a resolution. They resumed Monday.
Charles Byrnes, secretary treasurer of Local 926 in Pittsburgh; Denis Taylor, president of Local 355 in Baltimore; and Ron McClain, president of Local 147 in Des Moines, Iowa comprised the panel. They heard testimony from several Local 115 witnesses and reviewed more than 50 exhibits supporting Morris' removal, Owens said.
Morris was removed as secretary-treasurer of Philadelphia's Local 115 in November. Among the charges were allegations that he bought weapons with union money and intimidated members he considered disloyal.

Morris won a federal court ruling that no emergency existed to remove him without a hearing. Morris founded the 2,700-member local in 1955 and has been at the helm since then.
At previous sessions of the union hearing, auditors testified about alleged mismanagement of union funds.
Morris has denied any wrongdoing. He was ejected from Monday's hearing after repeatedly interrupting the proceeding and ignoring warnings, Owens said.

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