Ex-Teamster official convicted
By Maisie McAdoo/Reuters
NEW YORK-- Former Teamster political director William Hamilton Jr. was found
guilty on all counts Friday in a widely-watched case involving the 1996 re-election
campaign of then-Teamster president Ron Carey and officials from the Democratic
National Committee (DNC).
A Manhattan federal court jury found Hamilton, 57, guilty on six counts of conspiracy,
embezzlement of funds, mail fraud, wire fraud and perjury after less than two days of
deliberation following a month-long trial.
Hamilton was accused with three co-conspirators of illegally diverting $885,000 in union
funds, which belong to the union's members, to finance the Carey campaign in a series of
complex transactions in which Teamster money was donated to liberal political groups,
Citizen Action and Project Vote, with the tacit understanding that those groups would
donate funds to the Carey campaign.
"The scheme can best be described as a swap scheme, a quid pro quo, a
you'll-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours," said prosecutor Robert Rice at the start of
Carey was re-elected in 1996 but the election was later overturned and he was expelled
from the powerful International Brotherhood of Teamsters for life after government
investigators found the re-election committee had illegally funneled money from the union's
treasury to the campaign.
Prosecutors also alleged that Hamilton and his co-conspirators attempted to enlist the
DNC and the campaign to re-elect President Clinton in the financing scheme. The Teamster
officials proposed they would "donate" union money to the Democrats' campaigns and then
Democrats would find donors to kick back funds to Carey.
Although Terence McAuliffe, Clinton's adviser and fund-raiser, was accused of playing a
role in the scheme, DNC donors never materialized and no charges have been brought
against any DNC officials.
Co-conspirators Jere Nash, Carey's campaign manager, Martin Davis, a
Washington-based fund-raiser for Carey, and Michael Ansara, a Boston telemarketing
consultant, pleaded guilty in 1997 to funneling illegal contributions to Carey's campaign.
Ron Carey was first elected to the presidency of the 1.4 million member Teamsters
union in 1991 as the culmination of a long campaign to rid the union of historic corruption.
Hailed as a hero, he stumbled and eventually lost his position after deliberately ignoring
details of campaign contributions that he should have overseen.
Carey was succeeded by James Hoffa, son of the famous union leader, whom he had
previously defeated for the presidency. Hamilton is to be sentenced Feb. 29. He faces up
to 30 years in prison but will more likely serve concurrent 5-year terms.