THE TEAMSTERS' NEW REFORM leadership is ratcheting up its drive against corruption, using the same antiracketeering laws the feds did to crack down on the union in the late 1980s. Led by reformer Ron Carey, the International Brotherhood just filed a federal civil suit charging that former officials of Chicago-based Local 705, its attorney, and doctor bilked the local out of $4 million. The Racketeer-Influenced & Corrupt Organizations (RICO) laws provide for treble damages.
The suit accuses former Local 705 President Daniel Ligurotis--ousted from the union in 1992--of channeling money from pension and health funds to cronies. Example: nearly $2 million to finance an upscale restaurant in downscale Teamster City, where it lasted seven months. The suit says the owner, Angelo Kokas, was a convicted felon with mob ties.
The union charges Ligurotis with soliciting a $25,000 bribe from Lucchese crime- family associates. Plus, the local's doctor, William Dalessandro, allegedly directed patients to clinics he had a stake in and billed the union for services not performed. The suit says attorney Sherman Carmell aided and abetted these activities. None of those named could be reached for comment.