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Former union officer from Edgewater admits taking contractor bribe

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A former union officer from Local 592 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America from Edgewater admitted in federal court today that he took a bribe from a contractor.

Patrick Viola, 45, the former business manager and an employee of Local 592 of LIUNA, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Newark to unlawfully receiving a prohibited labor payment.

Federal agents said they recorded Viola taking $4,000 from a government cooperator who worked for a New Jersey construction company, the government said.

The cooperator told him that he was starting a construction project in Bergen County, to which Viola responded:  “Yeah, well you do what you gotta do as far as I’m concerned. You going in there [the construction project], do it non-union, you do it non-union, that’s the end of it.”

The cooperator replied: “I’ll do that one [the payment of the bribe to allow the company to use non-union labor on the project] in advance because I really can’t afford to have any kinds of problems.”

During that same recorded conversation, federal agents said, Viola told the cooperator he made a deal with another contractor who failed to pay the entire amount of the bribe.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2012.

U.S. Attorney Paul S. Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of
Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, and U.S. Department of Labor,
Employee Benefits Security Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Moscato of the U.S.
Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark is handling the case.

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