Hoffa’s Executive Assistant Alleged to Have Quashed Investigation of Mob Influence

A new document has surfaced in the Teamster corruption scandal identifying Carlow Scalf, Executive Assistant to Teamster President James Hoffa, as the person most responsible for shutting down the investigation of Teamster organized crime activity in Chicago.

In an April 21, 2004, letter to Teamster General Counsel Patrick Szymanski, the union’s anti-corruption chief, Ed Stier, asserted that he produced evidence that “…Scalf’s efforts to shut down our investigative activities were the result of pressure from Chicago-area Teamsters who in turn were acting at the instigation of racketeers.”

One week later, on April 28, Stier and the entire “Project RISE” anti-corruption team of the union resigned in protest of the shutdown of the investigation.

Scalf is considered the second most powerful official in the Teamsters Union, supervising its army of International Representatives and running many of the affairs of the union for Hoffa. In the same April 21 letter, Stier notes that he and Szymanski had recently discussed how to proceed with investigating Scalf, and that “this conversation included a discussion of whether informing the general president could be construed as obstructing a potential inquiry as it involved his executive assistant.” He further notes that “we also discussed this matter with the U.S. attorney in New York.”

In the letter, Stier asserts that Szymanski, the union’s top attorney, had been in agreement with Stier on the importance of the investigation into organized crime influence in the union and Scalf’s role in trying to curtail the investigation. He claims that Szymanski was suddenly directed _ presumably by Hoffa or Scalf _ to reverse that position. “This ‘kill the messenger’ strategy was obviously adopted in great haste,” Stier noted.

The Cover Up Continues

Stier notes that the Scalf investigation should have been referred directly to the Independent Review Board (IRB), the joint union-government body charged with rooting out corruption under the Teamsters’ racketeering consent order. “Of all the allegations identified in the report, this one is the most appropriate for referral to the IRB, not least because the general president himself is likely to be a witness and because of the position that Scalf occupies in the IBT hierarchy. Thus it is puzzling to see that … this matter will not be referred to the IRB, but will apparently be addressed by a private attorney selected by the general president.”

A week later, Hoffa did indeed name a private attorney, Edward McDonald, to look into the evidence that his executive assistant curtailed an investigation into organized crime influence in the Teamsters.

McDonald’s website indicates that he specializes in the defense of white-collar crime allegations. His clients include one of the nation’s largest waste management corporations (which are major Teamster employers); domestic and foreign bank officials, other large financial institutions and their employees; a member of the Saudi Royal family; Lebanese and Saudi businessmen; the former chairman and deputy chairman of the Russian Securities Commission; and many other businesses and individuals throughout the world. McDonald was reportedly recommended by Bruce Maffeo, a Hoffa attorney who formerly worked with him at the Department of Justice. Both have been retained by New York area Teamster officials.

Background On Carlow Scalf

Carlow Scalf is the Executive Assistant to James Hoffa. He has held that position for the five years that Hoffa has been Teamster president. His position is the third highest paid in the International Union: he was paid $187,475 in 2003 in salary, allowance, and payments to cover his own employee portion of FICA tax. The position is considered the second most powerful in the union, since he supervises Hoffa’s army of International Representatives and other union appointees and makes decisions on expenses, trusteeships and other union policies.

In Scalf’s March 2, 2001, deposition taken by the Independent Review Board he testified at length regarding his wide-ranging authority to hire and direct Teamster staff and policies.

Prior to 1999, Scalf served as the administrative assistant to Larry Brennan, president of the Michigan Teamster Joint Council. It was Brennan who created a job for James Hoffa in the mid-1990s to allow him to become a Teamster for two years and thus eligible to run for Teamster president.

Scalf was identified as the “bag man” by the IRB in a 2001 case involving Larry Brennan, but was never charged in the matter. The IRB noted at the time that Scalf “… was in control of the Defense Fund (a fund used to attack TDU candidates for union office). Unfortunately, no documentation of the foregoing contributions exists. Scalf claimed he never deposited the money raised … Scalf’s explanation for not having a bank account (for $30,000 in cash) is difficult to accept; and this practice ensured, whether or not intended to do so, that given the practice of cash contributions, the uses and sources of the money could not be traced. Furthering suspicions about the process, Scalf claimed that, although he kept records at the time, he did not retain any records … By his own admission, Scalf did not destroy the records until mid-1997, only after Myers’ interview by the federal agents and a grand jury investigation had commenced.” [May 31, 2001 IRB decision. See also IRB charges of June 2, 2000, for details of Scalf’s role as bag man.]

Scalf’s wife, Patricia Scalf, is the Assistant Director of the Parcel (UPS) Division of the union, its most powerful unit. She received $110,469 in 2003 from the union in salary, allowance, payments to cover her own employee FICA tax, and other disbursements.

His daughter and son in law operate a printing company, Union Printing, which is given business by the Teamsters Union. His son works as a Teamster business agent in Detroit Local 299.