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Monday, February 24, 2014

Connecticut Governor, Attorney General, Senator and Congresswoman Subpoenaed in RICO Case

This could get embarrassing. More than a year ago on this blog I reported that Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy appeared at an SEIU rally in support of striking workers at a Healthbridge's 8 nursing home facilities. Also walking picket for the SEIU was Attorney General George Jepsen who refused to investigate charges of vandalism and patient abuse when SIEU employees removed elderly patients' identification bracelets and tampered with patients' medical records. Jespen said that was all a matter for local police. Anyway that his office isn't responsible for enforcing the law at nursing homes and besides that he was recusing himself since he had walked picket with the SEIU.
“There is no need for appointment of a special counsel. The Department of Public Health is the agency with authority to investigate adverse events at nursing homes. Healthbridge told the Office of the Attorney General that it was making a report to DPH. DPH confirmed with the OAG that it was aware of the reports and was looking into them. To the extent Healthbridge is asking for a criminal investigation, the OAG does not have criminal authority and Healthbridge should report the matter to the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office. Apparently Healthbridge has confused the OAG and the Chief State’s Attorney’s office. It was the latter, not the OAG, that investigated reports in 2001. Referral to law enforcement is consistent with the role of that office in 2001. The Attorney General has a responsibility to represent the broader public interest and his participation today was aimed at drawing attention to important issues in hopes of expediting resolution of the conflict. Because Attorney General Jepsen has walked the picket line, he has recused himself from any legal matters involving Healthbridge and SEIU. The Office of the Attorney General, however, continues to serve as counsel to the Department of Public Health. If the agency’s investigation results in a request for legal assistance, the office is certainly prepared to provide it.”
We are not talking about dirty bed pans or how often the bed linens are changed but rather criminal vandalism and patient abuse. Now, to quote an often quoted mentor of the president, "the chickens have come home to roost". Healthbridge has filed suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and the list of those served with subpoenas looks like Who's Who in Connecticut Politics. HealthBridge subpoenaed Jepsen and Malloy’s office, plus both of their campaign committees, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congresswoman. Rosa DeLauro, state Senator John Fonfara and state Representative Russ Morin.

Election year and you are involved in a RICO case! The suit was filed in federal district court in New Jersey, the home state of the plaintiff. Lead attorney representing Healthbridge is Rosemary Alito, sister of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

The suit makes it clear that this is no ordinary labor dispute. Better yet it attached a copy of the SEIU's Contract Campaign Manual which advocates breaking the law.
The Manual is the antithesis of the orderly process established under the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.(“NLRA”).
The Manual, which was attached as an exhibit to the pleading in a similar RICO action filed against the SEIU and other affiliated unions
and individuals, condones and encourages illegal, immoral and unethical behavior in the pursuit of the unions’ goals. It instructs SEIU members, and members of its affiliated local unions, to destroy businesses, ruin reputations, and invoke legal process improperly. It candidly admits that
breaking the law is often required and glamorizes extortionate behavior.
This is damning! One wonder why the union would let such a document exist. It not only condones illegal activity it encourages it. You may view a copy of it here. One gets the idea that somewhere there was a master copy that was xeroxed or faxed to local unions as needed. The document was discovered in the Sodexo case. Sodexo is a food catering company that serves public institutions, nursing homes and hospitals. In its suit Sodexo accuses the SEIU of:
Throwing plastic roaches onto food being served by Sodexo USA at a high profile event;
Scaring hospital patients by insinuating that Sodexo USA food contained bugs, rat droppings, mold and flies;
Lying to interfere with Sodexo USA business and sneaking into elementary schools to avoid security;
Violating lobbying laws to steer business away from Sodexo USA, even at the risk of costing Sodexo USA employees their jobs; and
Harassing Sodexo USA employees by threatening to accuse them of wrongdoing.
From Healthbridge's web site:
The SEIU has never hesitated to cozy up to politicians, providing them with both on-the-ground organizational support and all-important financial support. SEIU alone spent $400,000 to help elect Governor Dannel Malloy and others in the last days of the 2010 election. SEIU’s support has certainly engendered no small bit of loyalty from Connecticut’s politicians.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Governor Malloy, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Attorney General George Jepsen and state House Speaker and Congressional candidate Chris Donovan have all joined the strikers on the picket line and have spoken out in favor of the union and against the patients and citizens of Connecticut.
Lest readers think that such accusations are unfounded a quick visit to Homefront.Homestead reveals a long and loving relationship between Connecticut Democrats and the SEIU. That site was set up during SEIU's fight with Spectrum Healthcare Services.
With Senator Chris Dodd in the lead, the entire Democratic Congressional delegation has written to Spectrum CEO Howard Dickstein to express their deep concern over the current strike and has called for his "immediate response and personal engagement" for a "fair and just" settlement. The delegation has also called for the end to the "heavy handed tactic" of using permanent replacement workers.

Presently the Democrats are trying to get the scope of the subpoenas narrowed. They lawyered up and are represented by the law firm Bredhoff & Kaiser which warns;
“Absent intervention by this Court, sitting elected officials and their staffs will be forced to take time away from working for their constituents.”
What a loss!

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